How to Lose 30 Pounds in 24 Hours: The Definitive Guide to Cutting Weight

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For thousands of athletes, cutting weight is a critical science. Heavyweights are an exception. (Photo: MMAWeekly)

Gaining 34 pounds of lean mass in 28 days? Impossible, or so claim the skeptics.

Losing 20+ pounds of fat in one month without exercise? Impossible, or so claim the skeptics.

So let’s add another item to the list of impossibles: I have lost more than 20 pounds in less than 24 hours on more than a dozen occasions.

The most extreme example was 33 lbs. — from 185 lbs. to 152 lbs. — in less than 20 hours, which produced a rather unpleasant 120 beat-per-minute resting pulse while attempting to sleep.

In 1999, I was a gold medalist at the Sanshou (Chinese kickboxing) national championships in the 165-lb. weight class (here is a video sample of Sanshou). This is perhaps the most controversial accomplishment in the 4HWW, as I make it clear:

I arrived the on-site at 187 lbs., weighed in at 165 lbs., and stepped on the platform to compete the next morning weighing 193 lbs.

This post will explain exactly how it’s done — the techniques, the “drugs”, the science — and include excerpts from a series of articles I wrote for Powerlifting USA in 2004 called “The New Technology of Water”. Even if you have no need to cut weight, after reading this, you will know more about organ function and hydration than 99% of all athletes in the world…

The kickboxing anecdote was controversial because those who cried foul have never competed in weight-class-based sports. This post will also therefore serve as a primer for armchair critics who should do more due diligence. Cutting weight is a prerequisite for elite competition in such sports — period.

Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski knows this. He is one of the most successful powerlifters in history, with incredible totals at both 220 lbs. (970-lb. squat, 661-lb. benchpress, 783-lb. deadlift = 2414-lb. total) and 242 lbs. (1008-lb. squat, 666-lb. benchpress, 788-lb. deadlift = 2463-lb. total). Here is how he begins his 2007 article on cutting weight:

What follows is a brief summary of the process I have successfully used to cut up to 30 lbs in less than 24 hours. (I went from 250 lbs to 219 lbs for the 2007 Arnold in 22 hours.) I put it all back on in less than a day too. I did this without any type of diuretics or IVs. It was all done entirely through sweating to lose the weight and drinking/eating to replenish it. This process was designed for competitions with a 24-hour weigh in period prior to the competition.

Our methods are almost identical, and I’ll include some of his suggestions.

Phase One – From 187 lbs. to 165 lbs.

Here we will examine, in practical terms, the necessary science of dehydration and the most effective modifiers and methods for attaining competition weight while minimizing muscle and organ damage.

It should be noted that dehydration can result in internal organ failure, coma, and even death, particularly when diuretics are used. The death of Austrian bodybuilder Andreas Munzer should serve as a reminder of what can happen when the use of drugs like Aldactone and Lasix (the latter and fast-acting insulin are arguably the two most dangerous drugs used in sports) is taken lightly. From a post-mortem article in The Observer:

His blood was viscous and slow-moving. His potassium levels were excessively high. He had been dehydrated by the diuretics he used in the days before his last competitions. His liver was melting. A post-mortem would find that it had dissolved almost completely.

ultra sec.jpg (JPEG Image, 500x568 pixels) - Scaled (87%)

The visible fibers of Munzer, who suffered multiple organ failures from diuretic abuse. Not worth the risk.

Is this article then irresponsible? I think it’s quite the opposite. I’m publishing it now because I’m saddened to still read of athletes killing themselves with imprecise approaches.

It’s a sad fact that weight-class based athletes will attempt this regardless, so I’m trying to provide safer guidelines. I don’t want to encourage casual sex among high school students, either, but I’m a realist and recognize that “just say no and abstain” doesn’t work and results in unintended pregnancies, etc. I’d rather have an open discussion and offer education to those who will do it regardless, which is the vast majority.

I’m of course obligated to emphasize that “this article is for informational purposes only.” TO REPEAT: RAPID DEHYDRATION IS DANGEROUS AND BOTH BRAIN DAMAGE AND FATALITIES ARE NOT UNCOMMON.

I present this article as an introduction to briefer and, in many respects, safer approaches that can supplant some of the more dangerous practices (thiazide-based and loop diuretics in particular) while delivering comparable results.

The practice of severe dehydration will continue among elite athletes in weight-class-based sports until competition weigh-ins are held as athletes step onto the platform or mat to compete. The problem is amplified further when athletes gain muscular mass over the course of a single competitive season, yet are required to remain in a single weight-class to retain records and ranking. My hope is that the approach details in this piece, as extreme as it is, helps athletes avoid even more dangerous practices (wearing garbage bags in saunas, etc.) that are common and more blunt, which results in excessive and imprecise loss.

So, how does one drop from 187 lbs. to 165 lbs., then perform 18 hours later at 193 lbs.?

Latent Heat and Electrolyte Reuptake Modification

It is contended that there are two appropriate vehicles for the facilitation of short-term water loss (diuresis): the manipulation of thermoregulation, and the manipulation of hormones related to electrolyte balance and water retention. In other words, you can combine 1) increased water excretion through the skin via temperature treatments with 2) increased water excretion through urination, which is dependent on the modification of kidney function.

If you weigh 200 lbs., 120 of those pounds are water, which is distributed between three systems: blood, cell interiors (as pertaining to powerlifting, muscle fibers), and the spaces between the blood vessels and the cells dependent on them. Approximately 8% of your total water volume is contained in blood plasma, 67% is contained in the cells themselves, and 25% is found in the spaces between the two, which includes subcutaneous water. It is imperative that athletes understand the distribution areas from which excess water, and not life-sustaining water, can be most safely excreted, pulling from critical systems only as a last resort. Thermoregulatory and mild electrolyte manipulation, with potassium-sparing supplementation for the latter, provides a compelling combination of efficacy and safety. Bear in mind that “safety”, particularly when used in the context of something that is inherently dangerous, is relative.

Exercise, whether running or otherwise, is not used for dehydration, as it places a load on the muscular and nervous systems when recovery is impaired, decreasing the force production capacity we want to preserve for competition.

Additionally, athletes should never dehydrate for the first time before competition. Just as with any technique, dehydration should be practiced within 85-90% of competition requirements at least two times in pre-season to ensure each athlete understands the individualized performance consequences and required recovery times.

Rehydration and additional hyperhydration are also accomplished through two primary vehicles: increasing the speed of water absorption, and increasing the volume of water that can be retained in the body for muscular performance purposes. This is done primarily with purified water and modified molecules of glucose.

By scientifically hydrating and increasing arterial blood plasma volume, you increase blood pH levels (alkaline), increasing the ability of hemoglobin to bind to oxygen. The end result is that proper hydration increases oxygen delivery to body tissue. A 1-1.5 quart loss of water can result in as much as a 25% decrease in aerobic endurance for this reason. By increasing plasma and cellular hydration you can conversely increase oxygen delivery and uptake, with a subsequent increase in endurance (hypothesized by some to be primarily dependent on aerobic mitochondrial activity).

Thermoregulation: Humidity and Brevity

Torranin has demonstrated that dehydration decreases both isometric and dynamic muscular endurance by 31% and 29%, respectively, following only a 4% reduction in body-mass by sauna exposure. This would still only represent an 8 lb. reduction for a 200 lb. competitor, a moderate decrease by weight-class competition standards. This further establishes the functional impairments caused by dehydration and the paramount importance of limiting the time spent in this state.

It is the author’s empirical experience that target dehydration should be accomplished over as short a period of time as safely possible, and that moderate dehydration sustained over multiple days only exacerbates the inherent problem of maintaining glycogen stores and muscle tissue integrity.

Saturday Weigh-In: 9am

If weigh-ins are hypothetically held at 9am Saturday morning, restrict additional salt intake beginning at Thursday dinner. No red meat or starchy carbohydrates (bread, rice, potatoes) should be consumed on Thursday night or on Friday, as both of these food product categories cause the disproportionate storage of water (3 grams of water per 1 gram of glycogen; creatine and fibrous tissue water retention in red meat). Drink your normal volume of liquids in the form of purified or distilled water until Friday morning, at which point water consumption, limited still to purified or distilled water, should be reduced to 1/3 your normal volume. If you don’t want to do the math, just drink 1/3 cup every time you would drink a full cup.

On Friday night, following a early (5-6pm) and light dinner consisting primarily of vegetables, thermoregulatory work should begin and water consumption should be eliminated until weigh-ins. Non-prescription diuretics, discussed in the following section, would be consumed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday, in addition to upon waking on Saturday.

10-Minute Sessions

The bathtub is the preferred tool for dehydration based on the outside humidity in total submersion, which is 100%. The higher the humidity, the less the evaporation, and the more your body must sweat to cool core body temperature. This is why athletes will sweat more in a steam room than in a dry sauna. Fill the bathtub with water that does not burn the hand but causes moderate pain if the hand is moved underwater. Your target weight by bedtime should be 2-3 lbs. MORE than your necessary competition weight, as you will evaporate that volume range of water during 6-9 hours of sleep.

Set an alarm clock next to the bath for 10 minutes, and preferably have someone who will also alert you at the 10-minute mark. Submerge your entire body and head in the bathtub, entering which should take at least 2 minutes. For ease of entry and to minimize movement, sit cross-legged at the front of the bath and lay down slowly, putting your head underwater so that only your face is exposed to the air and pointing towards the ceiling. If you feel faint at any point or when you reach 10 minutes, exit the tub and run cold water over your scalp but no other areas; ideally, place an ice pack on your head and neck instead of using water. Towel off, but do not shower, as you will reabsorb water through the skin. The author has seen elite wrestlers make the mistake of taking a shower the morning of weigh-ins, only to find they have gained 2-3 lbs.! Do not make this mistake – avoid showers completely until weigh-ins. After toweling off and urinating following the first 10-minute session, weigh yourself on two scales, taking the average of four weighings: two on each scale to account for any mechanical inaccuracies. Many athletes will lose too much weight the first time they use a bathtub, and this only extends the necessary recovery period. Take a 5 minute break near a cooling source or at room temperature if you have not made weight, and repeat 10-minute submersion sessions with 5-minute cooling breaks until you are 4-5 pounds from your required weight. At least two pounds will be lost as a result of the potassium-sparing diuretics detailed in later sections, and if you lower your body weight excessively, you should consume water to ensure you are 2-3 pounds HEAVIER than your required weight before sleep.

Two practical suggestions from Matt Kroczaleski:

When there’s a very short timeframe, the only thing that matters for the weigh in is how much the food physically weighs, not the calorie content when I consume it. I allow myself two pieces of bread with peanut butter usually spaced out evenly during the cut. The first piece is typically consumed about eight hours into the cut (about 10–12 hours out from the weigh in) and the second piece about six hours later. I always feel a renewed energy and sense of well-being after these small snacks. I don’t allow myself to drink ANYTHING during the cut because this is counterproductive to what I’m trying to achieve.

I will chew on and spit out ice chips during my five minute breaks, but that’s as close as I come to drinking any type of fluids during the weight loss process.

Potassium-Sparing Non-Prescription Diuretics: Blood Flow and Sodium Filtering

Nearly all diurectics produce their effects of diuresis by directly or indirectly acting on the kidneys. There are two primary types oral or injectable diurectics, those that increase blood flow to the kidneys and those that inhibit reabsorption of electrolytes by the nephrons or loop of Henle in the kidneys.

It is best to think of the kidneys as the body’s blood filters — Each day, 150-200 quarts are filtered through the kidneys, where toxins, excess water, and unneeded minerals are removed. If you increase the amount of water that is excreted per quart of blood, and simultaneously increase the volume of blood passing through these filters per hour, the effect is pronounced diuresis through dramatically increased urination.

Prescription diuretics, especially loop diuretics such as Lasix, often cause excessive depletion of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, ions that regulate electrical transmission and heart function. Moderate potassium insufficiency can cause DNA damage and muscular cramping, most certainly resulting in impaired lift performance. More severe depletion, which can have an onset of minutes with intravenous injection, has resulted in organ failure and cardiac arrest for athletes who do not understand the serious nature of these medications. Diuretics are designed for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure.

The author has found two compounds particularly effective for short-term water loss that mitigate the above problems: dandelion root (taraxicum officianalis), and caffeine, a xanthine alkaloid we’re all familiar with.

Dandelion root has the highest vitamin A of any known plant (14,000iu per 100g of raw material) and a high choline content. Dandelion root is one of few commonly available plants that increases sodium chloride excretion by the renal (kidney) tubule while simultaneously exhibiting potassium-sparing properties. When sodium excretion is increased, the kidneys increase water excretion to maintain electrolyte and osmotic balance. Dosages for dehydration, based on a 4:1 extract, are 250-500mg 3x daily with meals.

Caffeine not only increases sodium chloride excretion but acts primarily by increasing renal blood flow and stimulating parietal cells to increase gastric secretions. The latter combines with dandelion’s effect of increased bile flow to not only increase water excretion but food elimination (gastric emptying). Dosages for dehydration are 200-400mg caffeine (preferably caffeine anhydrous) 2-3x daily with meals. 200mg is roughly equivalent to two cups of drip coffee, or one medium cup of french-pressed coffee.

Used in combination for a 200 lb. competitor, 250-500mg of dandelion root would be taken with 200-400mg of caffeine at all three Friday meals (remember that dinner is early, 5-6pm), and upon waking 3 hours prior to weigh-in at 9am. It is recommended that the athlete also supplement each meal with a non-prescription 99mg potassium product.

Phase Two – From 165 lbs. to 193 lbs.

How do you use sugar alcohols, skin protectants, and insulin mimickers to recover from dehydration and move from a precompetition 187 lbs. and weigh-in of 165 lbs. to 193 lbs.? How can an athlete retain 50% more intramuscular fluid for improved oxygen delivery and power output?

Just because you’ve weighed in doesn’t mean you are ready to compete. Far from it.

Proper cellular hydration is required for glycogen synthesis and muscular contraction. Dehydrate a muscle by just 3% and you cause an approximate 10% loss of contractile strength and 8% loss of speed. Ball State University research has demonstrated a 7% decrease in speed over 10 kilometers by runners dehydrated by just 2%-3% of total body mass. For a 150 lb. strength athlete, this represents a very meager 3-4.5 lbs. of water loss.

This further establishes the paramount importance of rapid rehydration for optimal safety, recovery, strength performance following voluntary dehydration, particularly when the percent of total Lean Body Mass (LBM) is significant (the author has supervised, but does not advise, up to an 18% reduction).

One objective during the dehydration stage is the preservation of muscle fiber and blood plasma fluid volume with simultaneous excretion of extraneous subcutaneous water, which is located between the skin and muscle.

Similarly, the objective during rehydration is the increase of muscle cell and blood plasma fluid volume to predehydration or hyperhydration levels in the shortest time possible. What is hyperhydration? In the context of powerlifting, hyperhydration is a state produced when one artificially increases the amount of water the body can retain for improved power output and oxygen delivery. To that end, athletes I’ve worked with have used the following modifiers and tools, whose usage and dosages are included later in this article:

Blood plasma volume:

Room-temperature baths, PJ-A3AH MicroStructured™ water unit, Glycerol, glycerin, 1,2,3-propanetriol, electrolyte supplementation

Muscle cell hydration (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy):

Room-temperature baths, Panasonic PJ-A3AH MicroStructured™ water unit, 4:1 carbohydrate/protein ratio, glucose, glucose disposal agents and insulin mimickers, creatine monohydrate

Using Skin as a Water Channel

In the exact reverse of the dehydration protocol, it is advised that while consuming bio-engineered water (below), the athlete capitalize on the largest organ in the body as an initial vehicle for water uptake: skin. Take a 15-minute bath in room temperature water, preferably with Epsom salt for systemic magnesium supplementation and muscular relaxation (decreased electrolyte supply often causes muscle cramping).

Understanding the Small Intestine, Gastric Emptying, and Aquaporins

It is critical that any athlete with a short time span for rehydration increase gastric emptying, or the speed at which liquids pass from the stomach to the small intestine for absorption. Blood plasma fluid volume optimization precedes muscle cell hyperhydration, as the solids consumed for glycogen restoration will decrease the speed of liquid gastric emptying. This needs to be accomplished before glycogen is restored by ingestion of solids.

Also note that most commercially-available sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) and so-called “replacement fluids” contain much too high a concentration of sugars (high-fructose, dextrose, glucose, sucrose, maltodextrin) or other solutes to move efficiently from your stomach to the primary site of absorption in the small intestine. This does not mean you avoid solutes entirely, as I’ll point out below with ORS (oral replacement salts); it just means that you need to precise.

The optimal process of initial rehydration would move ingested H20 from the digestive tract (specifically, the small intestine) to the bloodstream quickly and without volume loss, and then through the semi-permeable cell membrane, again without volume loss (“loss” defined by eventual excretion, rather than retention, of water).

Protein channels in the cellular membrane, called “aquaporins”, only permit single-file influx of water molecules in clusters 3-6 angstroms in diameter. Unfortunately, 50-85% of purified water molecule clusters are 11-13 angstroms in diameter. Thus, while more efficiently assimilated than unpurified water, you may still excrete 50-85% of the purified water you ingest. For optimal hydration, defined by maximum H20 uptake % per ml ingested, there is a newer and more effective option: purified micro-clustered water. Through the process of electrolysis, basic tap water is restructured into smaller clusters of 5-6 water molecules, as identified with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Raman Spectroscopic Meters (NMR 0-17 peak shift from 130 Hz to 65 Hz).

Important note: the scientific literature available in English on micro-clustered water is confusing at best and convoluted with nonsense. The above explanation of “restructuring” was provided by an importer and could fall in the latter category. In fact, I’m inclined to believe this is the case.

The results discussed below, however, are from self-experimentation after purchasing the Panasonic PJ-A3AH from the same importer who had obtained several units after seeing them used in Japanese hospitals to treat burn victims.

I find the experimental results hard to explain as placebo effect: I and several other athletes were able to each drink more than 70 ounces from the Panasonic PJ-A3AH microclustered water unit (nearly 9 tall glasses of water), with no discomfort or excretion even 5 hours later. Divided by 16 oz. and multiplied by 1.5, one might extrapolate that the equivalent of approximately 6.56 pounds (1 gallon is 8.33 pounds) of tap water were assimilated. All of the athletes involved hydrate throughout the day and generally urinate at least once per 1.5-2 hours.

Regardless, the Panasonic unit is difficult to find, as are filters, so purified or distilled water can be used in substitution. Water molecules can move across the cell membrane, not just via aquaporins, albeit at a slower speed.

To avoid hyponatremia, or water intoxication, in both cases, it is recommended that you consume 75mg of sodium per 8 ounces of water (approximately 1/3 teaspoon per quart) to maintain electrolyte and water homeostatis. If you don’t, salt-dependent thirst-drive will be inhibited prematurely to prevent over-dilution of the blood. During a three-hour rehydration period, subjects consuming moderately sodium-infused water restored 82 percent of lost fluids versus 68 percent for subjects consuming water alone (Maughan RJ). Glucose can additionally increase absorption of water through the intestinal wall.

An even easier option is to also consume an ORS (oral replacement salt) drink like Pedialyte, which is popular among wrestler. The reasons to do so are clear in this comment from reader Craig Weller:

I once participated in a hydration lab as part of a combat medicine course.

A premise of the course was that many modern rehydration methods are ineffective and even counterproductive.

Participants were split into four groups and hydrated with either plain water, water with ORS, Gatorade or IV’s. My notes are several states away right now, but I think the amounts were around one gallon per hour for four hours.

Most participants in the Gatorade group developed fairly bad diarrhea. I was in the plain water group, which developed symptoms of hyponatremia. It was surprisingly miserable. The IV group (plain saline) developed ridiculous edema. They looked like Michelin men.

The only group that didn’t suffer much was the ORS group. They didn’t have the edema, hyponatremia (headache, fatigue, etc) or diarrhea of the other groups. As I recall, they also didn’t excrete quite as much (we measured urinary excretion down to the milliliter and graphed it over the four hours).

All groups except for the ORS group reported adverse effects for around 24 hours after.

Most of that seems fairly common-sense, but experiencing it firsthand was a dramatic learning experience.

The Sweetest Alcohol for Rehydration: Consuming Hand Moisturizer

Glycerol (1,2,3-propanetriol), commonly sold in supermarkets as “glycerin” for skin moisturizing, is a sugar alcohol with hygroscopic (water-binding) properties. Glycerol is used in meal-replacement bars to maintain softness and used in hand moisturizer because of its ability to pull water from the air. Glycerol is a three-carbon alcohol, which along with Free Fatty Acids (FFA) are produced when a triglyceride (stored fat/adipose tissue) is glycolyzed. It is theorized that glycerol drives water into blood plasma by increasing absorption of water in the distal tubules and collecting ducts of the kidney. Those who has read this entire post will recognize that we manipulated kidney function in the opposite manner initially to increase water excretion.

Glycerol-induced rehydration significantly increases plasma volume restoration within 60 minutes and at the end of a 180-minute rehydration period. Total urine volume is lower and percent rehydration is subsequently greater following glycerol usage (Scheett TP). In submaximal ergometer testing, mean heart rate was lower following glycerol ingestion by 4.4 +/- 1.1 beats/min (p = 0.01). Endurance time was prolonged after glycerol use in two studies: Study I (93.8 +/- 14 min vs. 77.4 +/- 9 min, p = 0.049) and Study II (123.4 +/- 17 min vs. 99.0 +/- 11 min, p = 0.03), demonstrating that pre-exercise glycerol-enhanced hyperhydration both lowers heart rate and prolongs endurance time (Montner P). The ingestion of glycerol improves hydration beyond that provided by equal volumes of Gatorade or water alone (Griffin SE).

Serum glycerol concentrations are normally 0.05 mmol/L at rest but can be increased to 20 mmol/L by ingesting 1-1.4g/kg of Lean Body Mass (LBM) of a 40% glycerol solution with 20-26 mL/kg LBM of water. Averaging these amounts and converting them to US English volume measurements, one should consume .543g/lb LBM of glycerol and .3984 fluid ounces/lb. LBM.

150 lb. athlete: 81.45 grams of glycerol with 59.76 fluid ounces (1.86 quarts) of water (preferably microclustered)

200 lb. athlete: 108.6 grams of glycerol with 79.68 fluid ounces (2.49 quarts) of water

250 lb. athlete: 135.75 grams of glycerol with 99.6 fluid (3.11 quarts) ounces of water

It is critical that the supplemental water is consumed with glycerol; otherwise, water will be pulled into blood plasma from the only available source, muscle cells and surrounding tissue.

Glucose and Insulin for Increasing Hydration Speed

Carbohydrates are converted to glucose through digestion and unused blood glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. In part 2, our athlete did not consume starches from Thursday lunch to weigh-ins at 9am on Saturday, and he will have depleted glycogen stores by necessity: each gram of glycogen holds 3 grams of water.

To optimally rehydrate after initial bioengineered water/sodium/glycerol consumption, one must optimize glycogen stores so the full water storage capability of the body is restored. This is accomplished by consuming macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates) with glucose disposal agents to enhance sensitivity to insulin, as storage hormone released by the pancreas. Insulin also stimulates glycogen synthase, as enzyme necessary for glycogen synthesis.

Several principles must be followed:

1. Consume your first meal 90-120 minutes after post-weigh-in glycerol and purified/distilled water ingestion.

2. Consume carbohydrates (CHO) with protein to optimize insulin response, but do not consume more protein than permitted by a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. More protein will interfere with water retention. Caseinates (cottage cheese or milk) or whole food proteins are preferred to whey, which is a fast-acting protein that can cause catabolism after 1.5 hours.

3. Take 100mg of Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA or thioctic acid) per 75 pounds of bodyweight + 50mcg of chromium polynicotinate (not picolinate) with each meal following weigh-ins. Both compounds increase insulin sensitivity and deposition of nutrients into muscle cells. The latter is a niacin-bound chromium referenced as 50x more bioavailable than chromium picolinate for purposes of glucose disposal and insulin mimicking.

4. Consume 5g creatine monohydrate and at least 75mg of salt with each meal, as both will work in conjunction with CHO as water “carriers” to increase absorption through the intestinal lining.

The Hyperhydration Advantage: Underutilized and Underestimated

By understanding engineered H20, its modifiers, and the science of hyperhydration, it is possible to weigh-in at 165 lbs. and compete 12 hours later at 193 lbs. It is also possible to consume 1.5 gallons of water in 16 ounces or increase protein synthesis 3-fold while simultaneously optimizing fat-oxidation.

Few elite athletes understand, let alone capitalize on, the hydration modifiers that represent next-generation tools for improving oxygen delivery and sports performance. It is precisely this broad ignorance that makes engineered hyperhydration one of the most valuable tools for athletes seeking a legal and safe performance advantage with results that rival any dietary supplement currently available.

Last but not least: do your research and don’t treat this as a low-stakes game. It will kill you. Here are three examples in one five-week period.

Caveat emptor.

Good luck to those whose sports require this. Train hard and drink smart. No medal is worth a Munzer-like ending.


Related and Suggested Reading:

Pavel: 80/20 Powerlifting and How to Add 110+ Pounds to Your Lifts

Physical Performance Posts: Why a Calorie Isn’t a Calorie, Intermittent Fasting vs. Caloric Restriction, Krill Oil…

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with over 400 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

296 Replies to “How to Lose 30 Pounds in 24 Hours: The Definitive Guide to Cutting Weight”

    1. This is awesome stuff, and very well-written. I have worked out in gyms with amateur and semi-pro body builders, and I have seen some of the grueling things they do to their bodies in the months before competition. Very hard on the body and organs; I myself wouldn’t have the guts to put my systems through such extremes, but I understand the necessity of doing so in very few circumstances. Again, very good job with this!

    1. Eh, I win 500 quid if I lose more weight as a percentage of my body than my brother by next week (we had a month but I was kind of lax about it and only lost 8lbs).

      I think this is interesting and I am fairly sure I don’t have the discomfort tolerance to take it to a dangerous level… mwahahahaha I shall win my money and then eat a huge delicious christmas dinner and thumb my nose at the world.

      Also, parents of the world, lol weight loss competitions don’t work, especially not for monetary reward (rather than say pride) since it just encourages people to find cheats :3

  1. Crazy stuff Tim… But a great post. It’s impressive how you always seem to do the impossible. Next thing we know you will be a successful rapper or an actor or something like that!

  2. Tim, another great read! Actually, I will have to read it a couple time to fully digest (or should I say absorb) the material.

    But I do have one question about conditioning, how does “cutting weight” impact conditioning? In many examples in MMA, athletes who cut a significant amount of weight will often appear “tired” or “sluggish” in their fights like when Brandon Vera dropped down to LHW at 205lbs.

    1. @ACercenia,

      Cutting weight kills conditioning if you don’t rehydrate completely. Matt Kroc has always reported feeling 100% after his cutting, but he knows how to get fluids back into his system. Powerlifters and other athletes will often use an IV drip to rehydrate on tight deadlines, but this isn’t something you should do without supervision.



      1. I agree you ideally want to recover fully, but that’s not always possible. After the deaths in wrestling they changed the weigh-ins from competing 24 hours after your weigh in, to competing 2 hours after the weigh-in, with hopes to cut down on the weight cutting by athletes.

        As a result wrestlers are still making the same cut with little or no time to recover, making it even more dangerous because they are competing in a dehydrated zombie like state. So then how would you advise the recovery process when you have 1 hour to so after a 10% body weight reduction cut? The other 1 hour would be used for your warm up time before your match.

        From my experience you don’t have time to eat a meal and can only snack. Drinking fluids with a high sugar content gives me a stomach ache and if I eat too much I feel heavy and bloated.

        I’m curious to hear your take on it.

  3. Hi Tim,

    Impressive. really impressive. I am in my 2nd week of “Losing 20+ pounds of fat in one month without exercise”. It just works. People just feel affraid about testing themselves to the limits. I am happy to say that I am designing a great lifestyle since I read you book. Thanks Tim, I can not wait for another post!

  4. Very interesting article.

    Im also on the process of loosing weight, and i would like to make a warning :

    if your IMC is very high (like mine) dont try those high profile method which are designed for specific top athletes metabolisms.

    Like we say in France : do not sell the bear’s skin, before having killed him.

  5. Very informative! Thanks for posting.

    I did enjoy reading this in the book. It was genius, really.

    It is interesting to learn about how the systems of the body work. So many people are desperate or naive and will do crazy things to achieve these types of results without fully understanding how the methods work and any risks involved. I wonder if a modification of this could be used for non-athletes simply as a weight-loss tactic? Obviously a more realistic goal would be to lose up to 5 pounds a week or so.

  6. This method is certainly quite impressive, and the science incredibly detailed. And while your rebuttal is fair, I agree with the larger criticism, which is that this goes against the spirit of weight-class competition, which is to pit people against others in a similar physical range. Rather than gaming that system, wouldn’t the better solution be to eliminate this ‘loophole’ and have something like daily weigh-ins for a period leading up to the competition to ensure that competitors actually belong in a certain range, and thus the event is ‘fair’ in that respect? Or am I missing some other aspect of this?

    1. @Jeremy,

      I agree completely, but until the rules change, athletes will all cut weight. This is the unfortunate reality, and has led to some improvements in NCAA wrestling at least, where I believe some competitions now have weigh-ins as you step onto the mat to wrestle. This reduces the incentive to drop classes dramatically.



  7. Great article.

    I think the following sentence may need revising:

    The above explanation of “restructuring” could was provided by an importer and could fall in the latter category.

    Trent Layell (@tlayell)

  8. Pedantic grammarian moment: might want to correct “The above explanation of “restructuring” could was provided by an importer and could fall in the latter category.”

    I don’t ever need to weigh in, but thanks for the tidbits related to hydration in general.

    Can you cite a source for “A 1-1.5 quart loss of water can result in as much as a 25% decrease in aerobic endurance for this reason.”? Just curious about the details…

  9. Actually having re-read it a couple of things spring to mind

    Re: whey. Though I agree with the proportions whey is very probably the smart choice due it’s speedier movement through the gut, it’s all about time after all. Casein is not your friend time wise. Any sharp drop off in serum amino acid concentrations would be overcome by the small, regular re-feeds popular when putting weight back on.

    Also considering the amount of CHO being consumed in the period between weigh in and competition I couldn’t ever see catabolism being an issue

    ….Just my opinion and experience.

    Also no mention of waxy maize starch or rice oligodextrin? Both can be useful.

  10. Hey Tim,

    This is absolutely the 80/20 of what works. I just completed the advanced P90x series and I thought that what was intense. This just takes things to a whole new level. Great specificity.



  11. Nice article Tim, but why post a pic of two great fighters that don’t have to cut weight for their weight class? Fedor forever…

  12. Wow great information there. It is very interesting to see what athletes who have weight requirements go through. I have always shyed away from this for two reasons. My thyroid gland was very hyperactive when I was in high school causing an inability to gain weight (it is difficult to play football at 145 lbs much less wrestle with no muscle mass). The second is that I just like team sports.

    I do have a question pertaining to the Thyroid gland. Is there any techniques to super charge that gland? Now that I am in my mid 30’s I find that it is more difficult to lose 5-10 lbs that I gain after a few weeks of eating poorly. I would like to have some natural supplements, or activities, that will help me in regaining some of that good hyper metabolism that I had as a high school student.

  13. Hi Tim,

    interesting article. Sidenote: Andreas Münzer was Austrian. It’s like in this joke “Austrians try to persuade the world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.”

    Thanks for 4HWW.


  14. Hey Tim,

    You are the man excellent post yet again. I’ve been following your slow carb diet and have lost 28.5 lbs!! I am in a bet to lose weight and the weigh-in is Friday. Definitely going to try this out. Great timing!



    1. Hi Jason,

      Totally understood that Arlovski and Fedor don’t cut weight these days, though I’m sure they both have when younger and moving up the classes for sambo, boxing, etc.. I just liked the photo and was in a pinch for time.

      Hope all is well,


  15. Tim I applaud your efforts. We need more people with accurate scientifically tested methods for meeting goals like this. Otherwise kids will continue using methods solely based on worth of mouth or methods they develop themselves.

    In many cases people will go to extremes with little results because they are using one method that causes rapid dehydration (running on treadmills in saunas) while using another that causes hydration (taking creatine for example). The end result is a lot of wasted effort as best, death at worst.

  16. Tim,

    This article is awesome – now I don’t have to try a bunch of crazy weight loss experiments and keep track of them all — you laid it ALL out!

    Great information on the hyperhydration, and bioengineered H20 I had NO idea of any of that… this is amazing information and thanks so much for sharing.



  17. Wow, Tim. This is amazing.

    Couple of questions: Does it significantly affect your energy level (both mental and physical) during competition? I would equate it to going on an all day bender and then waking up the next day and trying to sober up. I understand it’s much more scientific and thought out, but just wondering how you feel when you step into the ring after going through this 24 hours before.

    Secondly, why don’t these competitions change their policies to a weigh in right before the match? Seems like that would prevent people from putting themselves through such routines in order to make weight.

  18. I want to compete in Muay Thai when I get back to Kansas City in a year, but I refuse to fight super heavy weight and I really didn’t want to have to cut muscle. This will help put me into heavy weight. Awesome.

  19. Tim,

    As a guy who competes in events that don’t require me to cut weight (triathlons, half-marathons, etc), do the principles of hydration apply the same way? I assume from reading the article that by utilizing the same hydration tips above, I can increase endurance/performace. Anything I should be careful of when doing this without the dehydration phase? Thanks.


    1. Hi O’Brien,

      Yes, the principles of hydration are almost identical for endurance sports. I would say identical, but the amount of hyperhydration (and thus weight) you are willing to carry is dependent on the sport and distance.

      There is no need to dehydrate first, though reducing nonfunctional excess water will have performance benefits. This is one reason they use Lasix (which I would NEVER recommend for you) in race horses. The second reason is to mask other drugs 🙂



  20. Hm, Tim, correct me if I’m wrong..

    but I’m quite sure that I read a post (no3 on investing) yesterday.. but now I can’t seem to find it anywhere, and I start to think that I was dreaming all along. Now, I have quite vivid imagination but I’m hardly dreaming of your blog posts… so what’s the story – too hot stuff?


    1. LOL… Isabelle, the last post wasn’t deleted, just redated. If you search “Stewart” on the blog, you’ll find it. It just wasn’t pulling its weight (nyuk nyuk) for the homepage.



  21. Hey Tim,

    Fascinating post! I remember when I read your book the first time wondering what exactly was behind all this “hyper-hydration”… thanks for clarifying with this great information.


  22. Great post Tim. They should have you on as a guest coach on The Ultimate Fighter to bail out guys like Gabe Ruediger or Jason Guida. If that isn’t really your cup of tea than why not help Gina Carano out with her next weight cut 😉

  23. I’ve watched The Ultimate Fighter where they had a couple of guys drop 20+ pounds in 24 hours. By your accounts they did it completely wrong. The were exercising to do much of it. It looked torturous.

    I have always felt weigh-ins should be 1-5 hours before the fight. As it is now the advantage goes to the fighter that cuts weight better. This will unlikely change in pro sports because if someone misses their weight, the fight may be cancelled. Then you need to find a substitute. These are all obstacles that could be overcome but the status quo is harder to overcome.

  24. insane that competition weigh-ins are not on the spot (seconds before competition), thus outmoding this entire extreme and dangerous practice that has nothing to do with athletic competition.

  25. Having “weigh-ins” the day of the fight would eliminate this kind of extreme body manipulation. I’d put a fighter (who watched his nutrition and trained in his weight class) up against someone practicing these methods who weighed 30+ pounds heavier. Though the body is capable of responding in this way, it is not what the body was designed for. Extremely dangerous way of getting into your weight-class because you were lazy, procrastinated and ate poorly. I understand the value of science and experimenting, but most will use this type of information to “cheat” the boundaries of regulated sports.

  26. I do find it a shame that in every sport people act dishonestly.

    One of the main reasons I don’t care to watch professional sports is that every chance someone gets to cheat they do. In Football when someone fumbles you end up watching 10+ men piled together trying to wrench the ball that has already been acquired by one fellow at the bottom before the second guy had even landed on the pile.

    In Weight class stuff you find people pulling these kind of shenanigans so that they can battle someone else who isn’t even actually in their weight class. I don’t know all the mechanics but I find it odd that they don’t just weigh people the day of. Probably would make betting on the stuff more difficult ;).

    At any rate this is the more disturbing of the posts I’ve seen since I RSS’d you however considering how people tend to die these days trying to manipulate their weight in extreme ways I hardly feel that this will put too much more wood on the fire. Although you can most certainly expect some sort of drastic rise in hit counts for having the highest LB per HOUR on your title of any other site I’m sure.

  27. @Drew Nutritionist,

    Please share your suggestions for waxy maize starch or rice oligodextrin! I’m sure their are plenty of people who would love to know how you suggest both.



  28. Tim, wow dude, you shock me bruddah, this is some scarey stuff.

    As a former wrestler and bodybuilder, I have experienced some of this stuff and NONE of it is sane.

    But, if done correctly, and a gold medal is at stake, it sounds good to me!

    The craziest thing to me, is what the human body is capable of – I mean really, this is unreal what people can do and what they do to win.

    Quite amazing – maybe I respect the human body and it’s infinite powers TOO much? hmmmm


  29. Hey Tim,

    I was just wondering if you’d read the book “A Fighter’s Heart” by Sam Sheridan? He talks about cutting weight for a Mauy Thai fight where he uses a technique that supposedly saves your potassium stores. He doesn’t go into much detail about it (proprietary info, I guess), but it sounded sort of similar to what you’re trying to accomplish here.

    Either way, I’ll have to try this out next time I have to cut.

  30. Absolutely fascinating, but crazy… not sure why anyone would want to put their body under such hazardous duress? Great if you’ve made it work for you:) Interesting to me to learn that one can gain 2-3 pounds by taking a shower.

    One thing I didn’t see addressed: how much weight you consume/lose just by using your brain, and specifically, THINKING – it takes more energy than watching TV, for example. Maybe one could add doing some really challenging intellectual task to the list?:)

  31. Tim,

    Nice in-depth article, it all makes sense and it looks like you really your research on this one.

    The only thing I’m not really convinced of is the “micro-structured” water. Maybe it’s possible to create this, but then it will revert 100% to normal within a second, the interactions between water molecules are not that strong. Maybe the device can do something (make water more acidic / basic / reducing / oxidizing) I don’t know if that’s useful, but as I look at it, this is just a water filter using a micro-structured filter to get out all the bugs (that’s why they use it for burn victims, they’re a bit vulnerable to infections). You can’t even get distilled water out of it.

    The “digital electrolysis” was a dead giveaway though…

    1. Hi Hugo,

      Agreed on the “microstructured” water, hence the caveat in the piece. I just wanted to report the odd response to massive water consumption, which I found curious. I have since just reverted to distilled and purified water.



      1. Tim, do you find that drinking larger amounts of distilled and purified water allow you to go longer without having to pee as the microstructured water did? Do you find any difference between the distilled and purified water in the amount of time you drink it and how quickly you have to pee?



  32. How unbelievably irresponsible to post this. Countless teenage girls would kill for this type of information, with no concern for the risks to themselves. Please reconsider.

    1. Josie, this post doesn’t help someone improve appearance in the least. In fact, it makes people look like zombies. I have coached females athletes with eating disorders, and the weight-cutting approaches I have used have zero appeal to them. Keep in mind that there is a lot of cross-flow of information between gymnasts and wrestlers. The former have more body images issues than the latter. I’ve never met a wrestler who had psychosomatic body image issues; they cut weight to compete and win.

      I’m afraid I can’t prevent people who are set on anorexia/bulemia from misusing this information, but I don’t suspect they will. Not eating is easier.



  33. Now that’s some extreme, effective stuff.

    I’ve never had to cut weight for any type of sporting event, but have used water/carb manipulation for purely esthetic reasons aka “getting as lean as possible to satisfy your vanity.”

    A lot of the same principles apply (large amounts of water, decreased carbohydrate intake, cutting water, simple sugars, feeling like you’d do anything for a drink of water…)

    Great article.


  34. Tim,

    Can this principle (or principles like it) me modified to help me increase perfomance in a non-weigh-in sport such as CrossFit? Also, I tore my Achilles tendon doing box jumps on February 14th of this year, had surgery on the 19th and am now in recovery. You seem to have very innovative methods and I am wondering if you have any insight on a stronger/faster/more successful recovery.

    Thank you in advance,


    1. Hi Barry,

      All my wishes for a speedy recovery. I also tore my Achilles about 16 months ago. I hope to have much more to say about injury recovery soon. In the meantime, I highly suggest — assuming no gout other restrictions — 1 gram/protein per lean lb. bodyweight and getting about 10g of MSM in divided doses daily. Give it a shot and continue to ice on a nightly basis, followed immediately by very hot bath (foot submerged) and self-massage in that area. Get clearance from the surgeon or PT before using the heat treatment.



  35. Tim,

    Nice post. Insane. But nice. When I was ready to lose weight, one of my sources for hacking the loss was the cyclical ketogenic diet. Body builders know what they’re doing, results-wise. I never did stumble (or maybe I just didn’t pay attention to) the weigh-in strategies. Crazy.

    Given the right motivation (how big of a prize?), it seems like similarly results oriented people ought to be able to develop comparable, specific strategies for managing blood chemistry, probably the most interesting would be the various measures of cholesterol. Obviously the goal would be stable results, not a single point measurement … the “judging” would have to be long enough to avoid the vary “gaming” aspect highlighted by your article … maybe the average of 30 consecutive days’ measures.

    Or maybe this is already being or has already been done. Links?

  36. So it looks as if my comment was deleted. Sorry if it seemed harsh, but the physiology underlying this article is NOT sound. This is dangerous and unhealthy, no two ways about it.

    And also, microengineered water is. not. real.

    Hopefully this comment will make it through.


    From Tim:

    Hi Brian. The other comment you left was unnecessarily snarky and unconstructive, so, yes, it was deleted. Those are the rules.

    Please – if the science is unsound, leave a comment with suggestions for correcting it, or pointing out what — besides the microstructured water — should be fixed. Otherwise the criticism really isn’t helpful. If you have knowledge that can add to the discussion, please add it.



    1. @Brian,

      The other comment you left was unnecessarily snarky and unconstructive, so, yes, it was deleted. Those are the rules.

      Please – if the science is unsound, leave a comment with suggestions for correcting it, or pointing out what — besides the microstructured water — should be fixed. Otherwise the criticism really isn’t helpful. If you have knowledge that can add to the discussion, please add it.



  37. Tim,

    Do you have any recommendations for other microstructured water ionizers besides the Panasonic PJ-A3AH?

    I would (as well as others might) be interested in knowing what other products you have positive experiences with or recommend.


  38. No worries Tim, glad to,

    the minute you get off the scales and the weight is signed off then then you consume a solution of waxy maize starch, follow this up about 15 mins later with some (15-30g) whey. WMS is mostly amylopectin, a very high molecular weight carbohydrate and passes through the stomach very quickly. Basically anywhere were you would use glucose you could use this and get the job done more effectively.

    The rice oligodextrin would be used in a more ‘meal replacement’ context: with protein, and between whole food meals dependent upon needs/weight to be gained/sport etc… It’s (sometimes) given to those suffering acute dehydration in a clinical setting. A very good product.

    I’ve used both with martial artists and also endurance athletes who have major hydration issues (e.g. triaths who puke a lot on the swim).

    Again, great article. Really good reading.

  39. Thanks for the response to my response,

    Of course, sometimes you don’t need real scientific proof to know something works (science is a bit slow sometimes), but there’s so much known already, if you find out something new, it should fit in with the knowledge we had before (or it’s probably wrong).

    As far as I know, the only reason to drink distilled water with salt is that calcium (60/40 calcium/sodium in tap water here) is not as good for you as sodium. Is that the case? If not, then it’s also a waste of money / effort to drink distilled water, the ion content of tap water is negligible compared to the glycerol / salt you take with it.

    By the way, is the glycerol rehydration common? I work with bacteria, and for me the mechanism is quite straightforward, but I never thought somebody would try this on humans.

  40. I remember reading about your experience with this in your book. To read it in even more detail here is very fascinating. It would be awhile before I would even consider myself mentally ready to attempt this (not that I’m planning on going into any weight related competitions soon anyway!).

    I’ll leave this type of thing to the professionals. 🙂


  41. Timoy!

    Read ur book august 2008, says there “go to four hour for deatils on how i did IT ” (paraphrased by me), so i went on ur site. Im just wondering why it took you so long to post this article, [but correct me if im wrong if you already posted it before]


  42. Hi Tim,

    Couldn’t have picked a better photo for the article. Yes they both don’t cut, but they are also both highly recognizable outside of hardcore mma fans. If it wasn’t for mma, I wouldn’t know what weight cutting was.

    War Fedor.


  43. Fair enough.

    First, with regard to your comment:

    “It is imperative that athletes understand the distribution areas from which excess water, and not life-sustaining water, can be most safely excreted”

    There is no real separation between the two. The body is, for all intents and purposes, a continuous container of a single “pool” of water. Water moves relatively freely between compartments, for the most part, so there’s no way to separate between areas.

    The kind of weight loss you’re talking about, 30 lbs. (assuming it represents water loss and nothing else), at your starting weight, corresponds (by my calculations) to a loss of >40% of your plasma volume. This is, quite simply, dangerous, and is a real challenge to the system. In unconditioned, inexperienced individuals, this could be fatal.

    Additionally, your body will valiantly fight your efforts, increasing the generation of angiotensin II and aldosterone, as well as vasopressin. The mechanism by which the body resists large reductions in volume is the same mechanism by which it could cause widespread organ failure if the volume reduction is not rectified in a timely fashion.

    I agree with you that folks who are not prescribed diuretics like Lasix should steer clear, as major deviations in electrolyte levels can have serious consequences, including cardiac arrythmias that can lead to cardiac arrest.

    I would like to take issue with your statement regarding water uptake in the digestive tract. Aquaporins allow single-file movement of water molecules, it is true, but water also can cross the cell membrane itself, albeit more slowly. Additionally, water can move between the cells lining the digestive tract. You also seem to imply that solutes in the G.I. system lead to water excretion, but in fact the opposite is true. Water absorption in the intestines is entirely due to the movement of solute: For the most part, it follows sodium like a puppy. What’s more, your body can absorb pretty much however much water you throw at it; it’s REALLY good at it.

    If you drank conditioned water without excreting it, that’s a renal issue, not an absorption issue. In fact, if the conditioned water INCREASES water absorption by facilitating its movement through aquaporins, it should actually INCREASE urination, not decrease it.

    I get what you’re doing. For those getting ready for a fight, I suppose it’s the cost of doing business. But the fact remains that it’s downright dangerous, because a) there’s a lot to take into account, and b) it’s downright dangerous. I mean no disrespect, but I have to ask: Would you write an article about how to smoke cigarettes more effectively?

    1. @Brian,

      Thanks for the response. I actually agree with all of it and need to edit a bit, especially the portion related to solutes and water absorption vs. excretion. The renal vs. absorption issue is also important.

      To answer you last question, as you would suspect, I would not write an article on how to smoke cigarettes more effectively. Nor would I write an article about how to lose water weight more effectively.

      Cutting weight at these levels is dangerous, regardless of method, but some methods are still more dangerous than others. I recognize the process as an unfortunate element of these sports (until weigh-in timing is changed), so I’d rather point those involved towards methods that — while certainly still dangerous — are less likely to lead to acute organ failure a la furosemide or death otherwise.

      Appreciate the content, as I’m sure many other readers do as well. Are you an MD or naturopath?



  44. Thanks this will also help answer some questions that frequently come up on the message board 🙂

    I do think it needs to be loudly pointed out that this is a technique for atheletes. You need to be very healthy and in very good shape to attempt something like this. Of course, as Tim said, this is for information only.

    For those concerned about women and girls trying this, I hope the above rings clear. For advice on *fat* loss, please see Tim’s excellent post linked in at the top of this one: “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise” – still not meant for those who are not in good health – Tim let me know if I am off base 🙂 Thanks!

  45. Tim

    I must say, without a doubt, the most in-depth post I believe I have ever read. Its amazing how our bodies can ‘work’ for us.

    Keep up the great work!

    Chris Ducker

    CEO, Live2Sell, Inc.

  46. The water cluster data makes sense. Most things in nature stick together as a result of hydrogen bonding, especially water molecules. Think filling up a glass of water to the very top and seeing it come above the brim without spilling over. There is no actual chemical bonding here, just an electrostatic attraction between the slightly negative oxygen and slightly positive hydrogen of two entirely separate H2O’s. Electrolysis of water throws a few more electrons on the O making H2O more negative. Hydrogen bonding is thereby strengthened and the surrounding water molecules are pulled in tighter generating smaller clusters. You would also see a peak shift in the NMR data as stated. Since the O17 isotope is becoming more “shielded” with electrons, it would push the frequency further “upfield” from 130 to 65.

    Generally speaking, since there are more aquaporins located in epithelial cells that comprise the inner lining of the digestive tract and subcutaneous layers of skin, it would make sense that hydration is enhanced.

  47. Fun article, not so practical for living, but theoretically interesting. On that note, bringing up the great photo again, it is amusing to know that the two men weight approx the same, that Fedor, who is 4 inches shorter knocked out the other fighter in the opening round, and is considered the world’s greatest heavy weight by most, both amazing men.

  48. Gross!

    I am truly a Tim Ferris Evangelist, but can we please get some blogs with prettier or more appealing pictures and imagery? Seriously, Meat, now Man Meat, what’s next… How to be the best darn butcher on the block?


    I know this is supposed to be about what Tim Ferris is into, however; doesn’t he like puppies or butterflies or flowers, art, music, delightful candies…..?

    Variety is the spice of life Timmy, make with the beauty! (I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt for you to pay a little more attention to the beauty around you), pretty please with sugar on top?


    (please excuse my affinity for punctuation)

  49. Tim,

    I wish we had this kind of information back during my elite wrestling days. I did a lot of crazy and painful starvation and dehydration stuff back then, but it was all based on not consuming anything – and doing tons of physical exercise with plastic suits on. I nearly lost my mind, and it definitely had an adverse impact on my performance in competition.

    I hate the fact that this kind of activity makes a difference in who wins and loses big championships, but until weigh-ins are just minutes before competition, it’s going to happen no matter what rules they try to pass against it.

    Thanks for a real eye-opener…even though I’m glad I will never need to use it!

    Paul K

  50. Great article to tickle my curiosity. I have become an avid 24 hour mountain bike racer and I am wondering how to increase my ability to be a camel. Store significant water. I don’t seem to be able to consume as much liquid as I am using.


  51. And my wife thought I was nuts when I mowed the lawn in August wearing three sets of sweatpants and hooded sweatshirts. I don’t think I’ll ever have the need to try this, but interesting reading nonetheless.

  52. Comrades, I hope you do take Tim’s “for informational purposes only” warning seriously. Such state of the art extreme measures may only be justified by athletes fighting for national or world titles, clearly understanding the risks, and aided by medical professionals.

  53. Tim – I’m a constant lurker of your blog and love most of your articles, but I gotta chime in on this one.

    Why does this article bug me? I’m the guy who has to show up 10 minutes after some twelve-year-old kid has had a stroke at a wresting match. First, I try to shove whatever fluids I can into his collapsed veins to keep him alive. Then I have to evaluate how much brain damage has occurred, all while hauling ass towards the local ER where they will explain to crying parents why their son will never be the same.

    I’m glad you put a few disclaimers on this article, as IMHO this is one of the stupidest and completely unnecessary dangerous practices that exist in the sports world. Yep… right up there with blood doping. I’d ask that if you keep this article up, that you at least add in a lot more bold disclaimers.

    Any medical practitioner that encourages or sponsors an athlete who employs such measures should have his credentials revoked ASAP, as they are not only permanently damaging their patient, but vicariously encouraging others to do the same to maintain competitive advantage.

    This is not a practice that should be encouraged…

    1. @eggman,

      Thank you for your comment, and I wholeheartedly agree that this practice is harmful. I hope you saw my emphasis to that effect. When I get back out of the UT mountains I will bold a few of those sections. My hope is that this approach, as extreme as it is, helps athletes avoid even more dangerous practices (wearing garbage bags in saunas, etc.) that are common and more blunt, which results in excessive and imprecise loss.

      It’s a sad fact that weight-class based athletes will do this regardless, so I’m trying to provide safer guidelines. I don’t want to encourage lots of casual sex among high schoolers, either, but I’m a realist and recognize that “just say no and abstain” doesn’t work and results in unintended pregnancies, etc. I’d rather have an open discussion and offer condoms to those who will do it regardless, which is the vast majority.

      Thank you for your comment,


  54. Tim, I love ya. I believe your message of strength/stretching/transcendence do humanity good (not kidding), and it helped me personally with momentum in a dark hard hour last year. I’m a major Tim Ferriss fan.

    I believe you should make of your freedom what you will, so maybe it’s pointless to say this and I REALLY hope it doesn’t come across as pointlessly negative, but I will ask: to what end, my friend?

    Health is probably the most precious thing we have, the foundation, and enhancing it and extending life makes utter good sense, but spending time on physical aesthetics and its endless intricacies…. can’t we do better?? I see a physical excellence as a kind of symbolic success, but you show us better/higher forms of excellence and success Tim…

    Again, it’s not about what’s OK to pursue; you’re hurting no one with all this anyway. It’s about what’s BEST to pursue, and -dammit I’ll just say it!- we are better off when Tim Ferris turns his power to improving the world, because you are very good at it!!

    OK, in the name of consistency I’ll shut up and refocus on the best way to spend my own time: forgive the indiscretion! You owe none of your readers any justification, or anything for that matter… All my best Tim, sincerely.

  55. venhi, you sound like someone who has studied chemistry. That being the case, you should know that water doesn’t form stable clusters. It is dynamic, and water molecules are forming and breaking such H-bond interactions constantly. While water clusters probably do form, it should be emphasized that no stable cluster has ever been isolated in bulk water. These things, if they do exist at all, exist across times on the order of a picosecond or less.

    The clustered water idea seems to come from the theory that water exists in two states: an ice-like “cluster” structure, or a broken hydrogen bond state. Water molecules, then, essentially toggle between the two. What is more likely the case is that the two states are on opposite ends of a continuum.

    Electrolysis of pure water generates hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions, and electrolysis of tap water would probably generate an assortment of products, depending upon the constituent electrolytes. It would not merely add electrons to oxygen, resulting in stronger H-bonds.


    In answer to your question, I am a medical student, working toward my MD. Thanks for your response, sorry to have started off so snarkily.

  56. Cutting weight is a very essential tool in athletics and especially in MMA. Getting to your “lowest” possible weight gives you the biggest advantage in your weight class.

    You look at 170 in the UFC. GSP, Fitch, and Alves all walk into the ring at 185+. Alves has said he walked into the ring during his last fight at 199. GSP vs. Alves will be a good example of cutting weight.

    I cut to 149 for my no-gi NAGA matches and after Arnolds 09, I will cut to 139. The guys in my class easily walk around at 170+ day of. That is a tough guard to break!

  57. Hey Tim I read all the books suggested at the end of 4hww. I also enjoyed The Power of Less by leo. any book suggestions?


    Ps I was myself somewhere deep in Yucatan when you were in Vietname so I didn’t have the chance to tell you to try the restaurant Green Tangerine in Hanoi. The place is close to the water puppet show.

    Ps again… By the way is funny that I discover your book reading El Clarin on a lazy afternoon in Buenos Aires

  58. I can understand why people don’t like athletes weight cutting, but would weigh in directly before the match really be safer? Would that not just encourage people to cut weight and then fight still dehydrated?

    May not be as big an issue in wrestling etc but for anything that you are getting hit in the head I would think it is safer to allow the full 24 hours to re-hydrate the brain at least.

    I think the best suggestion so far has been the weigh in for several consecutive days, but the logistics of this would be prohibitive.

  59. Wish I knew this as a high-school wrestler. My brute approach was the dont-drink-anything, wear-a-garbage-bag-constantly, enema-before-weigh-in approach to drop 10 pounds in a day so I could get to 129.

  60. Hi,

    Although this is a great way to drop some pounds on the time of weigh in then add some pounds by the time its time to fight, is it morally acceptable? A lot of fighters do this which enables them to fight in weight categories which maybe they should not be allowed to as they are seen as too big for them (apart from the time of weigh in) and may have to much of an advantage. I think for this reason weigh ins should be about an hour or so before the actual fight.

    Great blog by the way. I just found it.

  61. Amazing understanding of the human body, Tim.

    What baffles me, is that from a practical point of view, if all athletes are trying to weigh in at 20 to 30 lbs lighter, does this not defeat the purpose of the weight classes?

    I.e. if there are 3 athletes of 220 lbs, who all weigh in under 200 lbs – that’s a lot of effort to go to, when effectively they would be competing against each other anyway in a higher class.

    Of course, not all athletes use these techniques, but it would seem, at the top, there are many using some technique to varying degrees of effect.

    At what point does it become a competition of hydration techniques? It seems both incredibly interesting and ludicrous to me.

  62. Tim,

    Awesome blog. I’m in a sport that requires weekly weigh-ins, about 15-16 hours before racing. Is this kind of stuff healthy if I have to do it every week?

    1. @Ken,

      Losing this amount of weight weekly is not healthy at all. In fact, cutting weight like this should be minimized whenever possible. That said, losing 5-10 lbs. of water weight if you are 180-lb.+ male is generally quite easy, even by simply cutting water intake to 1/3 and purified, while consuming a few more cups of coffee.

      Good luck!


  63. I was running sprints wearing plastic bags, and eating only eggs for two days to cut weight for football—at the age of 15. Everyone on the team near the weight limit did it (usually in the 5-10 pound range). We were fine and got to play. This wasn’t encouraged for long term behavior, but you had to do it to make weight and play.

    EVERYONE in wrestling (not fake pro-wrestling) does this. I wish I had know a little bit more about how to do it…might have won more matches.

  64. Tim,

    Definitely a lot of information to ingest. I wish I would have read this post 6 years ago when I constantly battled the weight-cutting game in high school wrestling. I always considered myself to be smart and methodical about my weight-cutting however it was never healthy since I didn’t follow half of your prescribed de-hydrate/re-hydrate methods.

    A question kind of on a similar but different topic, what is your opinion of the Master Cleanse (lemonade consisting of lemons, organic grade B syrup, cayenne pepper and of course tons of filtered water)?!? I’m doing it right now and have read nothing but good about it. You seem to always offer great advice or tips on how to handle these experiences. I’m on day 4 and still battling some headaches, but the body feels a bit euphoric. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated, though I know you’re a busy guy. Have you ever cleansed? If so, which cleanse and what were your experiences?? Saludos, espero que sigas con la pura vida!

  65. Tim,

    Thanks for the article. I love the sport of San Da, San Shou. I have been training Shuai Jiao for a few years now. Not for sport.

    Have a wonderful day


  66. Thanks for your consideration.

    I understand that it is difficult to constantly publish new and intriguing material every week. God know I couldn’t do it. Just saying that IMHO this kind of article does a disservice to the high quality that you’ve consistently produced on this blog.

    I’m glad to see that somebody is getting to take advantage of the snow. I’ve been tied down with school work for the last two weeks and I’m getting antsy for a few more days before season’s end. Which resort(s) have you been hitting? Any snow left up there?

  67. Tim, I’m confused about the salt/non-salt baths.

    I thought that an Epsom salt bath draws more water out of the skin, just like any other cell wall. So, I thought that you’d take a hot salt bath to dehydrate, and (ideally) a distilled water bath to re-hydrate.

    Now, this article mentions that one study (only one, and unpublished) found that the salts could diffuse across the stratum corneum, putting higher concentrations in the blood. Is this the basis of your technique? That “saltier” blood will take up more of that water you’re drinking to rehydrate?

    I’ve been taking hot Epsom salt baths once a week to help getting “ripped”. I like the results the next morning… but maybe I could be doing it better, with your help. Thanks.

    1. @Dardekeas,

      That’s a very good question. Your logic seems sound to me. I’d be very curious to see the results if you decide to compare you pre- and post-bath weights using a purified/tap bath one day and an Epsom-salt bath the next. No need to cut weight, of course. Other If you do it, please let me know what happens. I’ll give it a shot as well, if I remember.

      All the best,


  68. I am amazed that you can lose that much weight and gain that much weight in that short of a time period. Now I know why in some of those MMA fights one guy looks way bigger than the guy they are fighting. He could be 20 pounds heavier.

  69. After reading this post and all the comments I am left with one thought in mind.

    Not if you could do it, rather should you do it?

    You apparently have a loyal following and are a very smart person. So why do you start of by saying!

    So lets add another item to the list of impossible: I have lost more than 20 pounds in less than 24 hours on more than a dozen occasions.

    To me this sounds like a bold endorsement for something you know is dangerous after reading your comments.

    I understand your reasoning, but I think you should be a little more responsible on how you give out this type of information.

    How about explaining more of the possible health consequences?

    This reminds me of an article I once read about using steroids, the author said it was for information purposes only.

    But then gave detailed information on how to use and get around being tested for them as well, knowing full well that he just endorsed the use of them.

    Being in shape is about treating your body with respect to live a long and healthy life.

    If you are going to compete in sports it really shouldn’t matter if you are 30 pounds heavier or lighter than the other person to compete against them.

    Isn’t this the whole point of being a better athlete, may the better man win?

    If you were on the street would this be a consideration?

  70. @ Brian

    Everything in nature is constantly changing conformation at the molecular level so you are correct in stating that if water clusters do exist it may be at a picosecond or less. That would also be true for the simplest water cluster- a dimer- which are two separate water molecules attracted to each other via hydrogen bonding. However the fact remains that we simply do not yet have a full understanding of the role of H-bonding in nature. As a non-covalent, weaker chemical bond, it is indeed a bit more difficult to observe using current technology. We do however know that they are extremely important and they are ubiquitous.

    Take the H-bonding that stabilizes the DNA double helix (G to C and T to A). Its presence implies a critical role in the onset of all genetic diseases. Another example is our biochemical “processor “-the enzyme (a vast array of tertiary and quaternary proteins) whose 3-D conformation is attributed to H-bonding that maintain folding of long peptide chains.

    In “The Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences”

    Rich Saykally from Berkeley states,

    “We remain unable to accurately calculate the properties of liquid water…Moreover,

    the reliability of water models for simulating…biological processes remains relatively untested”

    I wouldn’t try convince anyone that stable water clusters exist in bulk water because that cannot be concluded. Although I also wouldn’t try to convince anyone that they don’t exist either because that too has never been concluded. Although much of the data obtained through computational chemistry displaying a wide range of H2O clusters based on simulations is extremely intriguing. As scientists we have a responsibility to relay to the public all of the tested (and repeatable) information reported in the most prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals such as PNAS. After all, their tax dollars are what is paying for much of this.

  71. Tim im gonna do my best to follow you methods next time i fight.I wish you formatted the steps in a simpler form ,maybe at the end . I walk at 158(lean) and fight 145 do you think fighting at 139 or 135 is a big no no?can i even cut that much? p.s any time you want to learn 10th planet jiu jitsu it would be my pleasure to teach.

    Scott “Einstein”Epstein

  72. A great mma example of successful cutting would be Sherk. Drops 30+ to fight and is explosive. Regardless of his recent losses or the steroids, he was the largest 155# fighter around simply because he was a 190# fighter that made weight.

  73. Tim,

    I thought Dandelion LEAF was the powerful diuretic, not ROOT. It is my understanding that root is primarily used as a detox herb, whereas leaf is the potassium friendly diuretic.


  74. This blog is very interesting for two reasons: Physical Extremes & Education.

    Physical Extremes: Sadly, most people do not push themselves physically these days. Out of shape people seem to outnumber healthy people 10-1. I am glad there is so much interest on becoming the best at a physical activity whether or not one thinks this example is healthy or not. The interest in such is much more appealing to me.

    Education: I love the fact that you present the dangers in doing such tactics. I cannot see myself going to these extremes but your explanation has made me much more knowledgeable about weight/water cutting.

    As always….Thanks for the info Tim…


  75. Tim,

    I once participated in a hydration lab as part of a combat medicine course.

    A premise of the course was that many modern rehydration methods are ineffective and even counterproductive.

    Participants were split into four groups and hydrated with either plain water, water with ORS, Gatorade or IV’s. My notes are several states away right now, but I think the amounts were around one gallon per hour for four hours.

    Most participants in the Gatorade group developed fairly bad diarrhea. I was in the plain water group, which developed symptoms of hyponatremia. It was surprisingly miserable. The IV group (plain saline) developed ridiculous edema. They looked like Michelin men.

    The only group that didn’t suffer much was the ORS group. They didn’t have the edema, hyponatremia (headache, fatigue, etc) or diarrhea of the other groups. As I recall, they also didn’t excrete quite as much (we measured urinary excretion down to the milliliter and graphed it over the four hours).

    All groups except for the ORS group reported adverse effects for around 24 hours after.

    Most of that seems fairly common-sense, but experiencing it firsthand was a dramatic learning experience.

    1. Dear Craig,

      Thanks so much for the comment! I do need to update this article and will do so. For those unfamiliar with ORS (oral replacement salts), here is an article from Dr. Paul Auerbach on

      When dehydration occurs, it is important to act swiftly. If fluid losses are significant, begin to replace liquids as soon as you can.

      Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) that meet World Health Organization standards are available in a dry mix; use one packet per quart (liter) of water. One packet contains sodium chloride 3.5 grams, potassium chloride 1.5 g, glucose 20 g, and trisodium citrate 2.9 g (or sodium bicarbonate 2.5 g). Cera Lyte 70 oral rehydration salts are based on a rice solution. One packet is mixed with a quart (liter) of water. After the solution is prepared, it should be consumed or discarded within 12 hours if kept at room temperature or 24 hours if kept refrigerated. Other ORS products available over-the-counter include Pedialyte, Enfalyte, Naturalyte, and Rehydralyte.

      1. Mild diarrhea/hydration: Drink soda water, clear juices, broth, and electrolyte-containing sports beverages. If diarrhea is the cause, try to replace each diarrheal stool with 10 milliliters of ORS per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. If the child is vomiting, try to replace each episode of vomiting with 2 mL of ORS per kg (2.2 lb) of body weight.

      2. Moderate diarrhea/dehydration: Drink diluted (by half, with water) electrolyte-containing sports beverages, mineral water (bottled), or a homemade solution (1 quart or liter of disinfected water plus 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, or 1.3 to 2.5 mL, of sodium chloride [table salt], 1/2 tsp of sodium bicarbonate [baking soda], 1/4 tsp, or 0.6 mL, of potassium chloride [salt substitute], and glucose [6 to 8 tsp, or 30 to 40 mL, of table sugar; or 1 to 2 tbsp, or 15 to 30 mL, of honey]). Take care not to over-sweeten (exceed 2 to 2.5% glucose) the solution with sugar, because this may worsen the diarrhea; too high a sugar concentration inhibits water absorption through the gastrointestinal tract. Each quart of this “home brew” should be alternated with 1/2 to 1 quart of plain disinfected water. Try to replace fluid losses at least every 2 hours.

      When using ORS, try to get the victim to ingest a quart per hour until the frequency of urination begins to increase and the urine color turns light or clear. To begin, start with small (e.g. 5 mL or one teaspoon) amounts every 1 to 2 minutes, to avoid collection of a large amount of fluid in the stomach that might cause vomiting. A child should be given 11/2 oz (44 mL) of ORS per pound (0.45 kg) of body weight over the first 4 hours, then 1 ounce (30 mL) of ORS per pound of body weight per 8-hour period until the diarrhea resolves. Another estimate of fluid replacement for children is 100 ml (approximately 3 oz) of fluid per significant loose bowel movement. For an infant with diarrhea, decrease the amount of milk in the diet, and add more water, diluted juices, half-strength sports beverages, and ORS. Sweetened carbonated beverages (soda pop) are not good replacement fluids, because they contain too much sugar and little or no sodium and potassium. If the child is breast-fed, keep nursing (offer the breast more often). If the child is formula-fed, use ORS for 12 to 24 hours, then try switching back to formula. If the diarrhea persists switch back to ORS for another cycle. It is important to continue to provide nourishment with food (and calories) to children with diarrhea, not fluid alone. Avoid foods high in simple sugars (including tea, juices, and soft drinks). Try complex carbohydrates (rice, wheat, potatoes, bread, cereals) and yogurt, lean meat, fruits, and vegetables.

      If premeasured salts are not available with which to supplement water, you can alternate glasses of the following two fluids, as recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service:

      GLASS ONE — 8 oz fruit juice with 1/4 tsp (a “pinch”) table salt and 1/2 tsp honey or corn syrup (237 mL juice, 1.3 mL table salt, 2.5 mL honey or corn syrup)

      GLASS TWO — 8 oz disinfected water with 1/4 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) (237 mL water, 1.3 mL baking soda)

      Another homemade fluid mixture is 1 tsp (5 mL) table salt and 1 cup (275 mL) rice cereal in a quart (liter) of water; this must be used within 12 hours or discarded. If only fruit juice (without supplementation) is available, remember to cut it to half strength with water. Otherwise, the sugar content will be too high and may contribute to continued diarrhea. Estimation techniques to measure powdered ingredients (such as a “pinch” of table salt) are notoriously inaccurate, and can even be dangerous if you add excessive amounts. Use a proper measuring implement whenever possible.

      3. Severe diarrhea/dehydration: Same as moderate. After a certain point, as with cholera, intravenous hydration may be lifesaving. See a physician as soon as possible.

      Sometimes, offering liquids to drink is not sufficient to diminish the nausea and vomiting that accompany an episode of gastroenteritis. If a person cannot ingest sufficient liquid, the diarrhea persists. In a recent article in the Annals of Emergency Medicine (Ann Emerg Med 2008:52:22-29) entitled “The role of oral ondansetron in children with vomiting as a result of acute gastritis/gastroenteritis who have failed oral rehydration therapy: a randomized controlled trial,” the authors concluded that in subjects with acute gastritis/gastroenteritis and mild to moderated dehydration who failed initial oral rehydration therapy, the proportion of children who subsequently required intravenous hydration was lower in a group treated with ondansetron (Zofran) in a dose of 0.15 mg/kg body weight of the oral dissolving tablet, as compared to a group that did not receive the drug.

      Having suffered nausea and vomiting from acute infectious gastroenteritis while traveling, I can attest to the benefit of ondansetron in providing sufficient relief to allow me to be able to begin to drink liquids and thereby rehydrate. Given that this observation is fairly common among clinicians in the field, and that this study strongly points to a benefit of the drug for children in whom oral rehydration is prevented by persistent nausea and vomiting, it makes perfect sense to carry a drug such as this, with limited side effects, that might allow initiation of essential replenishment of body fluid.

  76. Hi Tim,

    Love your posts of accelarated learning.

    Me encantaria que escribieras mas sobre bailes, como tango y break dance.

    Also vielen danken für Ihren Büch, es ist ganz super!!!


  77. Help Tim for DonorsChoose!

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    The only way for this to work to it’s full potential is for Tim to tweet it first then for everyone to tweet from his link and not the one listed here below.

    Encourage tim to tweet this then retweet it from your accounts and together we can do more than we could alone.

    And in the process you (everybody other than tim) can also bring yourseelf some more followers as well.

    Suggested tweet:

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    The perfect combo, people get to donate and we help them increase their followers!

    Tim you need to go to the site and retweet this!

  78. Take a 15-minute bath in room temperature water, preferably with Epsom salt for systemic magnesium supplementation and muscular relaxation

    Seems like water would flow out towards the salt solution, not into the body if you put salt in the water?

    1. @ Jon @Tim Yes this is my understanding also, I was always under the impression that epsom salts baths were used to draw water out (as I have used them myself for cutting weight, prior to reading this)

      Can someone elaborate or educate me here?


  79. Tim

    What do you think of drinking pedalyte mixed with water while exercisin. ex Biking, Hockey etc. as an alternatvie to gatorade type drinks

  80. Hi Tim. A very interesting article, I really had no idea about any of this. One point though, you speak about purified/distilled water. However, I understand purified water to be water free of bacteria or viruses, that could have any type of salt in it. Distilled water is water free of salts, but as this is generally done by columns, rather than actual distillation, and as the columns could be contaminated, there may or may not be bacteria present (at any rate in the lab we always sterilised the distilled water where necessary). So it would be good if you clarified which you meant. (I assume bacteria are not an issue).

    Secondly, have you published any results like this in a scientific journal or collaborated with scientists or doctors to do so? This information seems like stuff you would never get ethical approval to do in a lab, and therefore may be very difficult to study.

  81. Tim,

    I wanted to use this for preparing for a bodybuilding show, do you have any recomendations on the rehydration to keep from “Spilling over” and end up looking flat? I intend to do it once or twice before the show but wanted to see if you had any recomendations as it seems these directions are more for performance athletes and hyperhydration instead of bodybuilders. Thanks in advance!

  82. This is exactly the kind of information that ruins teenage wrestlers’ bodies for the rest of their lives. This is abhorrent. Why not just advertise steroids while you’re at it?

  83. Tim, two things the article does not address adequately are carb loading and nutrition for the 24 hours before the competition. Both need to be an integral part of the weight-cutting plan because as you noted carbs make you retain water!

    For my last few powerlifting competitions I’ve cut out all protein (and fats) from my diet 24 hours prior to the event, on the advice of a multi-time world champion. Carb-loading works best when done the day prior, so I just eat a bunch of cookies after stopping water intake. Here protein obviously doesn’t do you any good. But when you consider that protein takes more energy to digest, it’s counter-productive to eat any at all after the weigh-in. Stick to simple carbs in small amounts (many people make the mistake of over-eating; again, you don’t want to waste energy on digestion during the event) and rely on the carb-loading and stimulants.

    The above obviously makes the most sense for short weigh-ins, although I’ve done it successfuly for an 18-hour weigh-in (note that I only needed to cut 6lb that time). The most I’ve done is 15lb for a 2-hour weigh-in.

  84. I’ll be entering a Chinese Martial Arts Tournament tomorrow (in Berkeley, CA) and have found this useful for today’s weight loss regime — luckily I only need to lose two pounds so will be quick and easy.

    When I was in High School Wrestling, we did all the wrong things to make weight (jogging in front of a wood burning stove for example) — so it is great to have this reference available on the web.

    Nice work! And you suck — because your blog posts are too good!

  85. Tim, this is some pretty crazy stuff. Though scientifically, it doesn’t seem nearly as dangerous as some of the things I’ve heard of other athletes doing. You seem to know your stuff, so I won’t try to argue with you.

    You’re absolutely right though, if people weighed in before the competition this would all be different.

    Great post!

  86. I come here just too see about loosing a little weight really fast but i soon got put off when i read the words DEATH & COMA ….

  87. Tim,

    Great article on cutting weight! As a former college wrestler and coach, I know how important it is for athletes to know proper techniques for doing this. This is the extreme, but for the serious college or professional athlete, this system can be extrelmly effective. Thank you for sharing!


  88. Tim,

    How many of these techniques would I need to use to go from 157 to 148.8? I’m talking about a 24-hour weigh-in for powerlifting.

    Would it be better to do hot baths AND drink no fluids for several hours?

    Hot baths only?

    Just go without fluids only?

    Is 16-18 hours enough time to do the trick? Most of my competitors go without food and water for a full 24 hours.

  89. In preparation for an upcoming competition I found the following math hard to follow. It makes me wonder if this was intentional or accidental:

    “I find the experimental results hard to explain as placebo effect: I and several other athletes were able to each drink more than 70 ounces from the Panasonic PJ-A3AH microclustered water unit (nearly 9 tall glasses of water), with no discomfort or excretion even 5 hours later. Divided by 16 oz. and multiplied by 1.5, one might extrapolate that the equivalent of approximately 6.56 gallons of tap water was assimilated. All of the athletes involved hydrate throughout the day and generally urinate at least once per 1.5-2 hours.”

    70 oz / 16 oz times 1.5 = 6.56, agreed. But this result is in pounds, not gallons. One gallon of water weighs 8.33 lbs. This means one would “extrapolate” to consumption of approx. .8 gals or 105 oz. Less than a gallon, not 6.56 gallons.

    Am I missing something?

  90. Nuts! Tim, I was hoping you would answer GuruSteve’s question. I and a couple of my powerlifting buddies are in the same boat as him…and we all weigh in the high 150s. FWIW, the hot baths are EXTREMELY draining.

  91. Hello, Tim.

    Strange how we inadvertently find things on the net which are possible pertinent yet obscure.


    This is extremely interesting to me and, I have a couple of questions.

    I’m a 70 Y/O guy.

    I had been a gym rat for about 20 years.

    6-7 years ago, I was approx 165lbs @ 5′ 6 & 1/2″ and had a 29″ waist.

    I developed asthma and, the wild medical guessers put me on prednisone, the evil steroid.

    I couldn’t breathe sufficiently to do what I used to and, that together with the prednisone ballooned me to 210.

    A couple months ago, I finally HAD ENOUGH!!

    I went back to the gym and, what with stopping late “snacks”, etc I’ve taken off about 10 lbs. OK, it’s a start.

    I’m still active as far as working and playing however, what I’d like to know is whether anything in your weight cutting regimen has been addressed chronologically as far as guys like me.

    My basic overall health is quite good as my BP is about 130/70 and the rest of it is ok other than hoarding

    I’ll look for anything you may have to say about this.



  92. if i do this now to prepare for wrestling in the fall and eat healthy between now and then will i gain all this weight back?

  93. Hi Tim,

    As you know I run a large fightwear company in Australia and sponsor a heap of professional MMA fighters and Kickboxers so we will be following your advice for the next few fights to see how we go!. All of guys fight on an international level so it’ll ne interesting to see the results from their current weight cutting routines. Also if you ever want to meet Fedor yoruself just let me know as Im very close with his US Manager 😉



  94. Tim,

    Where do you recommend purchasing the Glycerol? Should i use a hand moisturizer made of Glycerol? Is that edible? I looked it up and found a Vegetable Glycerin….Can that be used also?

    Thanks for your help!


  95. I know this is a somewhat less noble cause than preparing for sporting events, but could ingesting your suggested mixture of water and glycerin also help in rehydrating after a night of excessive drinking? Staggering home from a pub, I find that no matter how much water I drink, I feel dehydrated and pretty dodgy all night and the next day, possibly even longer. I suspect this has something to do with the way alcohol makes fluid go through your body faster, so possibly glycerin could help. Btw. Tim, if you get the chance, would you consider writing a post on your own optimal hangover-cure nutrition? And yes, I know “just drink less” is the most effective hangover cure available, but every now and then a stag night or other such event occurs, and the occasional hangover is inevitable 🙂

  96. How to lose 45 pounds in 40 days safely? All my patients have 100% success. Honest. And they lose only abnormal fat, not reserve or structural. Easy, affordable, effective and safe. Inquire. Do It. Do It Right. Do It Right Now.

  97. Hey Tim,

    Just had my first attempt at a weight cut.

    Prepping for my first amateur Muay Thai bout (still unscheduled, but aiming to go from 140 to 125lbs. Maybe in the next few months).

    Bought all the supplements, followed the diet and water consumption in detail.

    Fairly straight forward.

    Then came the 10 minute hot bath torture sessions. Could only get through 1 10 minute session, the 5 min. break and only got through another 5 minute session. Could not complete the second session.

    My hands started to get tingly & feeling numb-ish during the first session and then I feel like i started panicking. I could feel my heart rate raising and had to get out.

    I understand why this is something that needs to be practiced.

    Normally, I avoid hot water baths and showers all together.

    Love the way a cold shower refreshes me inside and out.

    This hot water bath just confirmed to me that the hot water takes life out of me.

    So to get to the point, I ended up sitting in my bathroom for 30 minutes after and just sweat, like I have never sweat before. Went from 135.2 to 132.8. Not complaining, just want to pick your brain for some of the details of this exercise.

    Like I said this is the first time I have ever attempted any kind of temporary weight cut and was wondering about a few key things.

    1. How many times did you have to continue these 10 minute sessions to lose the weight? How much weight did you lose from doing just this? Is there some guideline used like, for every 10 minute session you can expect to lose about 1 lb of sweat?

    2. What are some of the danger signs that you have been in the hotwater bath for too long, besides passing out? And what are some of the normal things to expect (like tingly hands, or going crazy with your own thoughts as if in an isolation chamber)?

    3. Took the caffeine (i never drink coffee, dont like caffeine and I have a low tolerance to caffeine) and the dandelion root with my meals and my 1/3 normal water consumption, but didnt feel the diuretic feeling that I thought I would be experiencing. I thought I would be going to the bathroom every 10 minutes or crazy diarreaha or something like that, but instead it felt like I was draining whatever I drank with the meal. Is this what is supposed to happen? Or should I feel like I am losing much more than I am consuming?

    Anyway I am doing my practice run for a fake weigh in tomorrow at the gym at about 7pm, but think I will be about 4-5 lbs heavier at 129-130 instead of my target 125. But at least now I know what to expect from cutting weight.

    Again, thank you very much for being methodical and deliberate with your posts.

    Realize you are busy, and are tending to more recent posts, but thanks for reading through this comment.

    Realize I probably wont make my goal weight, and feel awful like I have never felt before, but loving every second. Thanks for giving us OCDs something to think about/do.

    Now, back to planning for the re-hydration for Friday’s class!


  98. Great info. Thanks for the help!

    I recently cut weight for the very first time. I had a 6pm weigh-in. I did 4 ten minute baths the night before and then 3 baths the next morning. I started at 180.4 pounds and weighed myself twice in the 5 minute break.

    Bath #1 180.2..179.8

    Bath #2 179.4.. 178.8

    Bath #3 178.2.. 178.0

    Bath #4 177.4.. 177.0

    After I was out 30 minutes I weighed 176.4

    I woke up the next morning at 174.6

    Bath #1 173.0.. 173.2

    Bath #2 172.4.. 172.2

    Bath #3 171.6.. 171.6

    After I was out of the tub for 20 minutes my weight was 170.4

    Weighed in at 170 at 6pm.

    7:30pm 174.0

    12:30am 182.8

    6:30am 183.4

    9:00am 185.4

    Noon 187.4

    1:16pm 190.0

    2:45pm 188.8

    3:45pm 189.2

    My fight was at 7pm. I felt strong and didn’t feel any negative affects from the cut.

    I get to do it all again starting tonight for my fight this Saturday.

  99. Hi, great article , I have a few questions tho , if these methods are as effective as they sound , why do premier athletes cutting weight use a sauna instead of a steam room or bathtub like you suggest, and resort to running on a treadmill in plastics ? is it a matter or preference or lack of knowledge ?

    Thank you

  100. I love this article – except that you are letting my competition know too much.

    I lose about 8 pounds from bedtime weight to right after my short, post-training steam in the morning. I up that to 15 pounds easily with simply forcing in a lot of distilled water in the days preceding the cut day. I also avoid starches and red meat pre-cut. During the cut I take some caffeine. I have always used pedialyte and coconut water and some sodium, potassium and creatine to help rehydrate. I go for starches a few hours after weighins. I must cut very soon and will try the dandelion root and glycerol for the first time.


  101. hello tim,

    i’m over the moon with finding this article, its helping me loads, i usually cut weight in a sauna but it makes me feel weak for my fight, so i’m glad i have something new to try this time, i found it a realy interesting read and i’ve studied it a couple of times and i was just wondering how much water you actually should drink after you’ve weighed in up until your fight, do you just take the dosages that you stated or do you consistently drink throughout the day and practically dromened yourself with it lol

  102. Hi Tim! This was a really great read. QUESTION— I have a weigh-in for the military on Wednesday morning (tonight is Monday). If I needed to drop 10 pounds and could do it using a lighter version of this method, would it also improve my BMI?

    I’m currently around 218 pounds and need to be at 202 for the weigh-in. If I weigh too much, they get out the measuring tape. Last time I was 210 but my measurements were ok… I made it by a hair. Your swift input is greatly appreciated Tim!

  103. afflicted I do not speak English, translated by babelfish read your book that jvery instructive, I found fell on this blog by making research on you. i would like if your article is available in French( How to Lose 30 Pounds in 24 Hours: The Definitive Guide to Cutting Weight )because j’ I sought n’ did not find still cheer for your book and your parcour .

    1 French

  104. Utilized a slightly modified version of your program and it worked great. The two evenings prior to weigh-in I weighed 176, weighed in at 158.5 and competed the next day at 177, winning my division. Good stuff.

  105. “pre-exercise glycerol-enhanced hyperhydration both lowers heart rate and prolongs endurance time”


    Would glycerin hyperhydration be a valuable thing to do before a regular workout, or is it redundant when you’re already properly hydrated?



    1. Hi Jason,

      When it comes to tricking the body, I believe less (frequently) is generally more. The body is quite fond of homeostatis and I suspect there could be hormone ramifications (aldosterone, etc.) if glycerol is constantly used. I’d save it for simulating competition to gauge effects, and then for competition itself, unless you are doing long distance and cannot hydrate properly pre- and during-exercise.



  106. Tim,

    Have you ever thought of learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? I think it would be a great accelerated learning subject for you, and you would probably be a natural. One of the best instructors is right here in Idaho.


  107. On a kind of related note, have you had any experience with water ionizers? A guy at the gym was elling them the other day. He made some radical slaims about how they ionize water and make it alkaline, which helps absorbtion, fights free radicals, speds recovery, clears out lactic acid, etc. It sounded awesome if true, but I need an outside opinion before I even consider it at the price he was asking.

  108. Yeah, I didn’t want to sound too accusatory, but it didn’t seem believable- especcially consider their sales strategy was multi-level marketing.

  109. There is no reasonable purpose for losing so much weight in so short a time – why promote it when it may just get some of the less streetwise readers out there to risk their loves for no real gain?

  110. this question may sound stupid but as far as the glycerin goes it is in grams so do i just need to figure the conversion of liquid ounces to grams?I have some 16oz bottles of 100% pure vegetable glycerine.Thanks for the help.

  111. Hey this was a really nice read.

    I’m a wrestler, and for my competitions we start the match only an hour after weigh-ins. So as you can see that really messes up the rehydration part of the plan for me.

    Would my performance suffer greatly from not being as hydrated, or do you think I could do that within an hour?

    Also, I’m only cutting about 10-12 pounds for all of my weigh-ins, from 172 to 160. Would this improve my situation and allow me to hydrate off the 12 lb cut in only an hour of time?



  112. I tried this with just the Diuretics and no sweat sessions and cut about 12lbs before my weigh-ins. I bet if I was able to do the 10-minuet sessions, I would cut about 5-ish more. Thanks a lot for this.

  113. I think this site is awesome. I’ve been looking for articles on weight cutting for a while. I have a degree in exercise science and the closest we got to dealing with performance and weight cutting was that “yeah it changes things a bit so these guidelines might not be true for wrestlers, gymnasts, or jockies”. I believe that with the explosion of MMA that this site is a great resource. I just followed part of the diet plan and lost 10 lbs. I am cutting from 200 to 175 for a MMA fight. I will report back on the use of the bath sessions and rehydration. Thanks Tim.

  114. The baths worked great. I waited up til 3 hours before weigh ins to lose almost 8 lbs.! Two weeks before weigh-ins on a non-training Sunday = 202 lbs. I just carb restricted and got to 190. Then day before weighins I didn’t drink very much water. Here’s the info on the 10-minute sessions day of weigh-ins:

    Start: 182.4




    Took an hour break.




    Hot water in motel started to run out!!!!!!!!!

    7: 174.8

    Thanks Tim

  115. Tim,

    Thanks for the response! I’m a huge fan of 4WW and I can say it has changed my life. I have a small internet company that does about 500k a month in revenue with very little overhead and A LOT of outsourcing. Anyway, this has enabled me to train MMA and hence the question about the weight cut. Trying to take my first amateur fight at lightweight and I’m weighing around 170. Thanks for the tips! I probably could have been a great success story for the updated version, but I’m just real small and under the radar.

    Thanks again,


  116. Where are the sample photos as mentioned in the updated 4HWW? I finally got my skeptical friend to read your book, and he’s using the lack of photos as reason to doubt your credibility. Would love to prove him wrong! Thanks

  117. Hey Tim, great read! I am currently cutting for an MMA fight this weekend, and am looking for a way to shed the last 10 pounds of water without making myself weak by running, biking, etc. in plastics. I saw on your previous post that you do an “average” of 2-4 10 minute sessions per cut. How much water weight drop did that yield? How many sessions did you do for the amazing 20-30 pounds in 24 hours? Thanks for the help and info!!

  118. Great Article,

    I’m a pro MMA athlete and have cut 20-25 lbs many times safely. I’m a big fan of using pedialyte, creatine, waxy maize, and Citruline Malate to rehydrate.

    Is a steam room acceptible replacement for hot water bath?

    I have a tradition of going to a movie (after pedialyte) post-weighin and eat a large popcorn. Is there a problem eating too much salt post-weighin?

  119. Hey Tim, great job. I think we’d all like to know how many 10 minute sessions were needed for the 30lb cuts? Also would injecting somthing like Insulin, or Insulin Like Growth Factor post weigh in be a good idea to speed up the process of nutrient absorbtion?

  120. Tim,

    From your last comment. You mentioned that you ‘usually only do 2-4.’

    Is that for the full 30lbs in only 2-4 sessions?

    Or is that for just usual weight cuts and for the deep cuts more?

    I have seen on this blog people post that they do this up to 8 times, perhaps a limit – or a general acceptable range, just so people don’t end up hurt.

    Just as a cautionary.



  121. Hey Tim,

    I have a question.. I’m a female powerlifter and I’m currently in the 105.5 weight class.. I will go to regionals if I drop to the 97.5 weight class and I have to do so in 2 days. Any suggestions as to how I could best do this? I’m going to try what the article suggested and see how that works but any other suggestions would be extremely appreciated.



  122. Very interesting article. I stumbled upon it while researching cutting weight for mma.

    The most intersting part for me is using for glycerol rehydration. I looked for it at the pharmacy today and the pharmacist was surprised as she said that it would take water from the cells and put it into the blood (that’s what I took her to say, anyhow). Hence, she figured it would be dehyradting if anything.

    Is she wrong? SHould I bother with the glycerol since it is only “theorized” that it drives water into the blood plasma?

  123. Awesome article. I always wondered how the UFC fighters, especially the guys at ATT, seem to just blow up between the weighins and the actual fight.

    I am incredibly interested in what you said at the end of the article, that it is possible to “increase protein synthesis 3-fold” by using hyperhydration. Where can I find more information on that?

  124. In terms of conditioning – are there any known side effects to the performance of a fighter’s mma conditioning?

    I heard that Frankie Edgar doesn’t cut weight to fight at 155 where as guys like Thiago Alves will cut almost 30 lbs – I have to wonder what the long and short term effects, if any, are?

    Toshi O.

  125. Thank you Tim! I had a weigh in today I had to be 191 and I weighed in at 190

    yesterday at noon I was 200.6 Had 400mg caffeine at lunch 400mg at dinner (5pm) cut out water and food entirely at 6pm at 9pm began sweating in the bath tub 10 min sessions in the exact manner as you described, did this 4 times checked my weight later that night at 1 am 195.5 went to bed woke up at 8 am 192.5 took 2 caffien pills ate and drank nothing for breakfast weighed in at noon 190.5 by 2 pm consumed 40 ounces of pedialyte and ate a salad. by 4pm consumed 40 oz of water and 20 oz of watered down gatoraid. 5pm im back up to 198.5 and I feel great. Everything worked exactly as you said! I had to cut water weight once before 1 year ago i had no water and no food for 30 hours and went running I felt like i was going to die your way is so much better and safer. Thanks again.

  126. salt baths are what i use to cut weight cus of osmosis ,

    alot of this was very helpful tho mate ,

    im fighting very soon (sat) and making weight and it was a good read.

    got from 66kg to 59.5 x

  127. All the politicians on here talking about lifetime damage on your body (ruining teenage bodies) drive me mad.

    I was doing an intensive exercise / rapid fitness improvement program, that the same sort of people would rave about. Everyone doing it, including me thought it was great, and it was.

    It lasted roughly 2 and a half hours and was highly intensive. I used to take my 500ml water bottle, not always full and sip it when I had time / remembered too.

    On many occasions I would simply forget during training and therefore have it after.

    One time I weighed myself at the start and finish when I forgotten to drink.

    I had gone from 185lbs to 170lbs in just under 3 hours.

    I never knew about these special rehydration procedures. I’ve never felt fitter than after attending those classes. Due to the water I lost you critics seem to think I’ll have done life time, long term damage / shouldn’t even be alive today.

    Losing water without the intensive muscle strain and fatigue of exercising is surely therefore not so massively different.

    The only dispute I have with this article is it cuts the weight the night before and sleeps 8? hours, rather than get up in the morning and doing it DIRECTLY before weighing in (therefore only being dehydrated for a few hours).


    which is seen as elite fitness….. And YES people drop dead from doing it allllll the time, Marathons etc. Go preach else were.

  128. Great article and very helpful… I recently had to cut weight for an MMA fight, and though I didn’t take it to the extremes Tim did in his article, I was able to lose my last 3-5 pounds without having to run or sweat and I felt great. Thanks Tim!


  129. Hello I am trying to Lose alot of the water Weight i have. I have been drinking almost a gallon of water everyday because someone told me it would keep me from over eating and it Does help. But i am seeing i actually weigh more? 0_o !!?? Like what the heck is going on. Then as reading T4HWW i realized what the problem was. I want to try this to lose the water wight. But i dont need to do it in 24 hours. I have time so im thinking of doing the same process but in a less intense format. Any suggestions on what i can do would be helpful. as of now im simply doing three 10min sessions of hot water baths and increasing my dandelion Root intake and caffeine intake. Any help would be greatly appreciated guys 😀

  130. I suggest updating this article. Glycerol is now banned by WADA. It’s been added to the list as a possible masking agent. Fighters who cut and use glycerol based products to rehydrate run the risk of being banned from their respective sport.

      1. WHOA. Thanks, Wrestling Coach! Tim or Tim’s assistant, perhaps modify the article? Just adding Wrestling Coach’s comment to the article would be helpful. The worst thing would be to go through all this trouble only to be DQ’d, and forfeit all the months of training.

  131. Tim,

    I currently weight 150lbs and am a college wrestler. I am going to make 133’s and have read your article, but it is kind of confusing to me, so if u can dumb it down for me that would be great. Basically, what I got out of it is, three days before weigh ins you stop eating carbs, use dandelion root and caffeine, potassium, and do your 10 min bath sessions.

  132. Wow that was a lot of information. I can remember trying to lose a couple pounds for rowing weigh ins. We use to do a sweat run wearing garbage bags. I guess your method would have probably worked better.

  133. I am not an athlet but I want to try this. I weight about 175 lbs, I am 31 years old, mother of a 12-year-old and have plan to have baby. I want to know if there is any side affect of this. Please reply to my post.

  134. Ashley,

    This is not a way to lose weight and keep it off… These methods are usually done by trained athletes who need to cut weight for a specifice (one time) event/competition that has a weight limit and a weigh in. After the weigh in, the athlete begins the rehydration process. I would definitely NOT recommend this as a first time crash diet. People (athletes) who use these methods are trained and understand their bodies and what they are doing. Be careful.

  135. Ashley,

    I would recommend against trying this; this is in no way a formula for meaningful, long-term weight loss. Rather, it is a “quick fix” to lose a significant amount of water weight in order to qualify at lower weight classes. Put another way, if your goal is to change your body composition & lose weight, DON’T DO THIS. Not only is it dangerous to do in the short-term, in the long-term you will have effectively accomplished nothing.

    One other note: You say you’re 175 lbs, but without knowing your height, it’s not particularly helpful.

    1. Dear Brian,

      Thanks for the reply. Actually, I was sort of disturbed when I thought that I will try this. But eralier this week, I have consulted with my dr. about it. I also have started to going to the gym and I am limiting my intake calorie. It may take longer that any other plan but I guess it’s good wait long for something good and healthy. Your reply really was inspiring. I will not try this.Thanks again. God bless you.

      -Ashley K.

  136. Dear Brian and Angelo,

    Thanks for the replies guys. I’m just going to admit that I was sort of disturbed the moment I wanted to try the process. But, thanks to you guys, I have changed my mind. Earlier this week, I have consulted with my physian about losing weight and she suugested healthy diet plus physical activity. So, I have finally started using gym membership and limiting my intake calories. It may take a lot longer than any other plan, but I guess it’s OK to wait for something good and healthy. Thanks to both of you once again. God bless you.

  137. Ashley,

    And that’s the thing, really. It does take longer, but it accomplishes 2 things: 1) You attain your goal healthfully, and 2) it means you’ve adopted healthful habits that hopefully will make your weight-loss more long-lasting.

    Something that I think got lost in Tim’s original post is that this technique is actually for people that are already VERY healthy. MMA fighters, boxers, wrestlers, are ideally people that are already in extraordinarily good health, and at or around a healthy weight. This technique merely allows them to qualify to fight in a lower weight class in order to try and leverage a weight advantage over their opponent.

    I wish you much luck and success in your endeavor. It’s a long and difficult road, at times, but definitely worth it!

  138. Hi Tim

    Great Book – congrats

    I started the Low Carb Diet and following very strictly. But this first week i did not see any weight lose. I tried to look into the second chapter of th low carb diet but I could not pin point what I did wrong.

    Or maybe my body is adjusting to the diet and will not lose weight until next week – any guidance is appreciated.

    Thank you again and Happy New Year

  139. If I’m on the slow carb diet is dextrose any better or worse than fructose?

    I was drinking the P90X Recovery drink after my workouts, until I read your book. I stopped drinking it because I saw it was loaded with fructose (1st ingredient on the list). Now they have changed the ingredients and it no longer contains fructose and now contains dextrose. Should I still avoid this drink?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    1. Del, most recovery drinks have strong amounts of simple sugars, which will all effect you in that way, have a sweet potatoe already made instead…

  140. Amber Marie,

    Again, this is really a very short-term and highly controlled weight loss, with the idea that most of the weight will be regained in 24 hours or so. This is because the weight that is lost is NOT — I repeat, NOT — an appreciable amount of fat. It’s all pretty much WATER.

    The kind of weight loss that you want is most likely found elsewhere in Tim’s posts. PLEASE don’t do this to lose weight for your wedding.

    Congratulations, by the way!

  141. I the book you mention pictures of you before and after for the competition of Kick Boxing. I could not find these on the website. Could you send a link?


  142. I am going to do this next week for the Brazilian jui-jitsu world trials. I dont however have access to a Bath. Is there something else I can do instead?

    Why a Bath and not a shower also?

    Thanks you so much. I really look forward to your advice!

  143. I must say, as a 17 year old high school girl, I was thrilled to find this article. I have a photoshoot on Monday and wanted to look skinny for my pictures. Luckily, I took the time to read everyone’s comments and the words “fatal”, “death”, and “dangerous” definitely scared me from trying this. Thank you everyone for your extreme warnings. I’m not in the best shape because I frequently starve myself for days and never excercise so I most certainly don’t think my body could have handled this. The science on this was right on though and it was a wonderful article. I really hope that for other girls my age, it will be just that- an article, and not a method to try.


    1. This method should be used for meeting a certain weight limit, not to look good for a photoshoot, doing this will leave you looking unwell…

  144. Tim,

    Awesome article! I have a quick question for you sir. I have to cut 20lbs within the next week for a weigh-in. I’m currently at 223 and need to be 203 within 7 days. I’m on a no-carb diet and have been drinking 4-5L of electrolyte water every day. I’ve definitely been retaining most of the water which leads me to believe I have greatly up’d my water weight. I’m also doing around 90 to 120 minutes of cardio a day trying to keep my heartrate at 170.

    Would you suggest doing this method the day before the weigh-in? I’m in pretty good physical shape and have unfortunately resorted to Epsom Salt injestion before and am a bit wary of it after doing some research after the fact. Last time I just stopped eating/drinking for 4 days and ran with a sauna suit to lose the last 10 or so after finishing my diet….but it appears this method may be a bit more logical.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time and thanks again for the great work!


  145. So help wanted please…

    A little bit about me. I am over weight (I know this is a 24hr fix for weigh inns and what not), but very healthy for my size. I have been competiting in jiujitsu for over 5yrs (and successful I might add). I dont have high blood pressure, nor do I have any other health issues. In dec I had a full blood work done and the lady was impressed with my results. Good and bad cholestral where perfect. My vitamins where also imprssive she said.


    I took a yr off due to injurys and my weight went thru the roof. In April I weighed in at 415lbs (am 6ft 1in) by aug I was down to 369lbs. I got sick and was out of commision and my weight climbed back up slowly.

    Part I need help with:

    On jan 2nd I started a weight loss competiton ($20,000 prize). I weighend in at 386.6, competion lasts 3 months.

    Week 1 I lost 15 lbs,

    Week 2 I lost 2 lbs,

    week 3 was a bi,

    week 4 I lost 17 lbs,

    week 5 I lost 5 lbs,

    Week 6 I lost 5 lbs,

    Week 7 was a bi

    Total loss for 6 weeks = 44 lbs

    I really want to step it up for this last month. Was thinking about doing this epsom salt bath every fri for the next 4 weeks.

    Tim, do you think this would help me? Where talking about $20k..! Lol

    What am currently doing:

    Workouts: 5days a week 2 one hr sessions a day and 3 sessions on Thursday and Friday (weigh-ins are sat 9am) all of them cardio except two which or H.I.T training. I where a suana suit under sweats, long slevve, and a jacket on all workouts.

    My calorie intake is around 1500. Consists of high fiber meals before work outs and high protien after work outs (fish & chicken)

    Only supplements I take is a daily multi-vitamiun.

    Any help is greatly appreciated Tim,


    1. Hey Mickey- I’m Tim’s assistant. Sounds like a crazy competition! Have you read the ‘Ice Age’ chapter in the 4HB? It’s all about how you can increase your fat loss efforts by 300%. If you take the extreme route that’s recommended in those pages (i.e. 10 minute ice baths, 3X per week), you should be able to clinch the $20K.

      It also looks like you’re overtraining. Cut back on the workouts and focus more on diet.

      The sauna suits are a temporary fix. They help you sweat, but you’ll put that weight back on again. Try out ice age.

      – Charlie

  146. Hello… thanks for the info… no I haven’t tried the ice thing. This is the first I have heard of it. Where can I get the book or info on this? I really want to win, but that means I have to drop no less than 115lbs, because Last yrs winners had between 30 & 33% bmi loss…

  147. Week 8 14lbs loss

    I weighed my self wed night. I was 350lbs… than sat morning I weighed in at 330lbs. I lost 8lbs Thursday, and 12 lbs fri… did the bath fri, and it works, sweet..!


  148. Tim,

    Most of my life I have been over 200lbs I would like to drop to 185lbs..Im in the Army so exercise is not a problem also i dont mind running. out its is just hard to drop the weight and keep it off. any advice for me.

  149. Hey thanks for posting this article. I’m currently listening to 4 hour work week and have been following in your footsteps before this and I am thank full someone to find someone else who has already carved the path. I am also into martial arts and was a national champion wrestler in college. After college I went through a self discovery phase similar to yours going from random job to random job. I always felt like I had more to offer and wanted to own my own business.

    So I said screw it and started one called Kutting Weight.

    I loved the cutting weight workouts and how I felt after working out in sauna suits, but hated the cheap plastic ones that were available for sale. So while I was working at bars and doing random jobs I decided to create my own sauna suit clothing line. After researching online I found a manufacturer in Taiwan and created neoprene sauna suits. After running the business for 4 years now I’ve been seeing great success, making $30k a month and working part time;) I have been running it the same way you did with your supplement line. I work out of my home in LA and have a fulfillment company that picks and packs my orders. I contract out work that needs to be done through friends or other professionals on a per job basis. Our philosophy’s are the same which is why I’m leaving this blog comment.

    I’m at that point where I’m also moving towards information type products and saw this blog about cutting weight. I have also stared a blog at and want to get more information out there about the process of cutting weight. We have been interview UFC fighters and wrestlers about the subject and posting the videos on our website and all over Youtube.

    I want to write a book about the process and am going to follow your tips in Chapter 11 of the 4 hour work week and have other weight loss supplements. I feel that education is the key component to weight loss and the sauna suit is just one piece. I’m starting to get knocked off too which sucks and I can’t do anything about it.

    What is crazy about this all is I’ve been wanting to do this for years and have been, but just found your audiobook last week.You have already gone down this path of supplement products and educational products. I know your a busy guy but I wanted to ask you if you could be my mentor and I could shoot you emails from time to time.

    I was just listening to your script in the 4 hour work week about getting mentors while I was on my way to Taiwan yesterday and thought I would ask you.



  150. For a person can achieve weight loss should

    change their eating habits.

    Avoid or reduce the junk food and replace it with vegetable fiber.

    The process should be slow, and so do not go through abstinence

    Is difficult at first to change our eating habits, so I advise, change our habits slowly but steadily.

  151. I really enjoyed this article. I am currently cutting weight for a grappling tournament national qualifiers. And, I made my parents read this so they could see that what, Im doing is normal and when done right, is safe. I learned a lot from reading this article and look forward to reading more of your work.

  152. I have 12 days to cut 10 lbs, I have already lost 15 lbs this month by strict diet and intense exercise, I drink 1 to 1.5 gallons of water a day, can I lose the 10 lbs in the last 48 hours with the salt bath and cutting off food consumption, just curious because if I can I can afford to eat a little more than I am, thank you please respond asap!! Thanks again

  153. Tim,

    Great article!

    I am doing your dehydration method right now I weighed myself in at 215 and then submerges myself in bath tube water and man it was hot lol. After 10 min I started to feel a tiggaling feeling around my chest and arms I got out of the tub and just sat in the bathroom for a hour sweating. Then I weighed myself and I was in shock to see I lost five pounds. I am sitting in my bed now cooling off for 30 min then I am going to do it again. I’ll let know how how it goes.


  154. Hello

    Hi Tim,

    I have to lose weight to be weighed in on the 26 of this month (FOR A JOB)..i dont need to show 33 lb reduction but i would be cleared with around 14 – 18 lbs reductionI would like to know if there s ne substitution of BATHTUB

    I DONT HAVE A BATHTUB @ my place

    i would like to know if there is a subsitute for that

    If i take a HOT WATER SHOWER(for 10 minutes),will it have the same effects/results as in bathtub

    ALso is there anything else that can subsitute Dandelion root to be combined with Caffeine

    P.S. I am from India and things like ‘Dandelion roots’ is not readily available everywhere here.

    PLS Reply Asap All of the people PLS

  155. Tim,

    you mentioned in 4hBody book alpha lipoic acid that helps to transfer carbs to muscles.

    what do you think about L-Carnitine? it helps to burn fat and use that energy to get more muscles.



  156. Great article,

    But I’m confused a little about the re-hydration..

    Should you mix the glycerol solution with the pedialyte solution?

    Or have it only after the ORS?

    Also, you only dunk 2-4 times?

    When I take 15min dunks, I only lose about a pound

  157. Hey I just wanted to say thanks for posting this. Like you said sometimes your sport requires you to do this and there’s nothing good about it but it’s the way it is. Through your methods I was able to cut 18 lbs in 12 hours. It was very miserable. But it worked and now a dream is once again possible. Thanks again.

  158. tim,

    i just used this program and i wanted to say thanks. i placed 2nd in a big jiu-jitsu tournament this weekend and my conditioning was top notch. however, i wanted to inquire about the time it took you to lose, let us say, approximately 10 lbs of water weight using the bath tub method. i had trouble losing a substantial amount of weight, and after maybe an hour, the tub was no longer hot enough to generate a sweat. any troubleshooting advice?

    however, the hyperhydration part worked beautiful and i appreciate your post and constant drive for knowledge greatly.



  159. Hi Tim, great info. Regarding the information specifically just on cutting the weight. Is that bath tub trick going to help me lose the bulk of my weight that i need to lose? I’m 148lb. looking to wrestle at 138lb. Thanks!

  160. Hey Tim I loved the article…

    but here is my question ….how should i do and follow ur principal if my weight inn is 6pm???

    I still fight on following day 24 hrs later..

    thank u


  161. Tried this technique along with 2 other colleagues prior to a match and thank god we only had to loose between 5 – 7 pounds. This system is effective for an athlete in TOP shape to lose between 8 and 11 pounds, that’s my opinion. the first and second sitting in the tub the 8 – 11 pounds literally melt off. After that, your done. We tried 4 more “bath’s” all with equal temps (Yes we carry thermometers) and didn’t lose so much as an ounce. Just got out of the tub with our whole bodies in spasms, So be warned… If you need to drop 8-10, this system is awesome! anything past that, then your a dreamer….

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  163. Hi Tim,

    Im a pro 170lb mma fighter in spain,and in normal training season im 182-185 and for me to cut to 170 i have to be 175 friday morning befor using the sauna.

    when i rehidrate i use water with salt sugar and lemon juice.and eat a smal meal of carbs every 20-30 minutes until bed time.i step in to the octagon at 178-179lb.

    i get to 175 from 185 buy doing a protein and vege diet for 2 weeks.

    BUT it wound help me so much if you could help me to lose a bit more with less sauna (cos i hate it) and put on a bit more for fight time.

    Iv never used any diuretic befor but i will if you could explain how to use them.

    iv seen body builder lose 30lb and i just cant get my head around why its so dificult for me.

    If posible i would realy aperciate it if i cound get in direct contact with you as this means a lot to me and have no one in spain that knows about weight cutting,

    kind regards

    christian holley

    1. Christian,

      Personally, I strongly recommend against using diuretics to drop weight (especially if you’re not familiar with their safe use, but really at all). The potential complications of diuretic use are real and possibly severe.

  164. Does anyone have experience cutting weight with a shorter weigh-in to competition window? I’ll be weighing in at 7am and powerlifting probably 10am…so just 3 hours to rehydrate/refeed.

  165. Great info, I have done this a couple times when cutting weight cut I still do not understand how to make the bioengineered H20, I follow all the other rules I can, but I do not see a clear instruction on how to make normal water into the 5-6 water molecules, can anyone help me out with this?

    1. With all due respect to Tim, Librarian, I wouldn’t worry about “bioengineered H20”. There’s really no good evidence to support the idea water can maintain microclusters to any appreciable degree, much less that such microclustering would have any significant effects physiologically speaking.

      Put another way, it is highly unlikely that the difference, if any, you could achieve would justify the expense. Just use distilled water, and you should be fine.

  166. Too much math/biology etc, I understand english but man i didn’t understand half of what i read here, which sucks cause i really need to learn how to do this before i start competing in the 3 different martial arts i’m aiming for. But whatever i’ll just have to test my way there, let’s hope I don’t die lol.

  167. This explains a lot. I have been wrestling for years and have had my battles with weight cuts. Having this information out there is a ton more safe than a bunch of high school dummies in trash bags spitting in bottles. This was the most responsible thing to do with this information. One would have to thoroughly read this article to understand how to put the advise into action. In other words most teenage girls with image problems would not have the intellectual capacity to extrapolate much from this article. Therefore, I personally do not deem the information dangerous. I do, however, not approve of the title. The article is titled clearly for keyword purposes (Search Engine Optimization) to drive traffic to this site through relevant content. For this reason I would have suspicions as to the purpose of placement and title of this article.

  168. Hi Tim,

    This article is very informative and thankfully warns against extreme weight manipulation. While I appreciate Isaac’s (and other’s) concern about teenage girls and their image problems–since I had an eating disorder as a teen–he makes them sound more inept than some adult male athletes. Athletes in my high school showed symptoms of a dysmorphic disorder just like teenage girls. It’s not labelled the same, but it should be because both parties are striving for the same thing–control in their physical self. Access to this information would’ve given me more of an insight on the damage I was doing to my body, and I would’ve started creating healthier habits a lot earlier. I encourage the educational part of this entire post. Everyone should be able to educate themselves and not be left in the dark to use their own self-impaired devices.

    I have a question about the Glycerol. Since it seems to be more effective in hyperhydration, could this be used as a low daily dose supplement for preventing dehydration (for non athletes) during extremely humid hot weather? I’m talking about 100% humidity and consistent 98 degree days. Drinking water constantly with an occasional pedialyte still doesn’t prevent dehydration during the summer months for me. I even use sunscreen in the sun to prevent loss of fluids from sunburn.

    I’ve found this article, but it’s on the fence about effectiveness and the studies only refer to using it during sport activity.

    A Hazardous Chemical Risk Management book–that I don’t have a link for–suggests that it’s slightly poisonous if ingested, may cause kidney damage and that human mutation have been found in long term use. My problem with this book is that it’s from ’97 and uses words like “may” or “have been found” with no direct evidence.

    Do you have any references on the long term effects of Glycerol? Or do you know about using this for situations other than sport or stroke treatment?

    Thanks for writing 4 Hour Body by the way. It’s the most effective lifestyle change I’ve made in my life.

  169. Cool..,Have about 10 lbs to drop for a comp…will try this…the sauna suit sucks!…Also going to have a one of my Doc’s look at this too..see what he thinks…Im and Rn…so they way you explained eveything is awesome on my view…Also as entertaining as some of the comments were…I think the ones who dont compete that were just wanting to try this for weight loss need to be kicked in the head!!!…Some people and their children, I swear!!!…Hopefully some stupid can be fixed…

  170. With the engineered water that you talk about, if you cannot go the panasonic machine route, will the new high PH waters help with fast absorption?

  171. Hi Tim!

    I was wondering if you could go into more detail about the science behind the baths, I don’t totally understand how the hot water submersion makes you excrete water. I don’t doubt your information in the slightest, I mean it clearly works, the geek in me was just interested (I also have to explain to my worried mother how all this is happening before a high school wrestling tournament)

    Thanks in advance,


  172. hey Tim , i was wondering how much weight you can cut just from the bathtub experience ? i have a mma bout at 170 i did the 4 hour body diet but with more proteins and some mods , i lost 22 pounds in 1 month i have been stuck on 177, 180lbs for the past 3 weeks i even stoped my cheat days. i havent dehadrated yet but i have cut 8lbs on the steam room, i feel like i can cut 20lbs in a 30 hour period, what other methoods are there or should the hot bath and steam room should do the job?

    thank you!

    1. If you cut 22lbs in one month, then cut 8 in a steam room, it would be very dangerous to try to cut 20 more in 30 hours…. Your putting your body through way to much of a change way to fast.

  173. Hi Tim

    i was wondering why the first 5 to 6 lbs come off so easily. it seems like the last 5 to 6 lbs take twice as long to come off. the fighter i watched do this used the bathtub to cut his weight and his opponent used exercise plus the sauna. his opponent cut 10lbs 170 to 160 lbs he cut 14 lbs 174 to 160 lbs. he was 173 lbs 20 hours later. not sure what his opponent weighed.

    the one thing that stood out at the weigh in was

    all fighters that cut weight were drinking Pedialyte.

    his opponent gassed out in the first round. why?

    he still had a lot of energy after he rear naked choked his opponent. why?

    he will not be cutting 14 lbs for his next fight. too deadly he said.

    i agree with him. he is thinking 5lbs would be a lot easier.

    and until the rules change, this will continue.

  174. Hi Tim,

    Great reading!

    Regarding the data collected for the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance on testing the frequency of the micro-clustered water, it may be incorrect. That is, if the machine does what it says; a smaller molecule cluster will resonate at a higher frequency.

  175. Tim, according to your Saturday weigh-in… By Thurs dinner, you said to stay away from red meats, starchy carbs ect… Are egg beaters, white fish, chicken, and avacodos ok for that period of time?

  176. Tim, I’m in a weight-loss contest with a group of guys. I only need to be 10 pounds lighter on the weigh in this Friday morning to win the prize. I’ve already lost ten. Any tips on how to do this for weigh in since I’m not trying to lose 30 pounds! Haha! HELP PLEASE!

  177. I gonna use this program for my upcoming MMA fight in January. It’s only low profile amateur fight but my first one and I really needed this info. I found similar advice in the book “A Fighter’s Heart” by Sam Sheridan but this post explains it better!

  178. Hi all. I have a weigh in at 3pm and have to travel that morning to it. I will be in a hotel from around 12 pm

    I was just wondering when I should do the hot tubs on this schedule?

    Many thanks

  179. Tim, great post . I have100% vegetable glycerin,

    How many grams shld I use per lb of LBM wth water?

    I’m not sure if your formula is based off 40% glycerol


  180. Tim,

    Thanks so much for the article. Had a question for you though – I plan on doing the glycerol rapid rehydration. Would I be ok in doing it with Pedialite or Coconut water instead of microcrystalized water?

  181. Looks like many critical and specific questions were missed.

    Perhaps an edited and unedited video of experiments would be useful and engender a greater response from the hyperfocused people?


    what is a reasonable expectation for weight loss between each bath?

  182. Yes, it is possible to lose weight quickly and easily with the right type of willpower and determination. When you follow proper weight loss tips and techniques, it will make a lot easier and faster to reach your weight loss goals.

  183. Tim is what I call a quasi-human, he is a partially, fully realized human; perhaps 1 in 3000 people qualify for this level. I am a little more Intelligent, a bit wiser, more insightful, and much less action oriented. If Tim let me interact with him, he would have significant potential to cure a host of diseases and perhaps even cure death.

  184. Really interesting article, but I didnt really catch on how long the rehydration step should take? Can you do it in a few hours, 12 hours or a whole day?

  185. Can you give me a very specific meal plan and how much.water drink ect…

    And how long I should be in the tube for?

  186. Absolutely love this fabulous site, wonderful content here, would have been a wee bit sceptical with regards to acquiring a steam

    shower unit for our home however, the information and knowledge here sorted my mind out, amazing thanks a bunch

  187. To Tim and any athletes reading this post,

    I’ve performed an eight pound cut in 24 hours using this method, twice. It’s a solid method, even though I made some personal tweaks to it. You can read about my exact methodology at the links below. Tim and Matt, this post is super helpful and has shaped how I cut weight for competition. Thank you.

    No spam, just two articles on how I did the cut.

  188. Great article Tim!

    What is your take on water-loading (drinking 2+ gallons of water) the days leading up to weigh-ins before dehydrating?

    And what do you think about coconut water as a hydration drink?

    Thanks and keep up the awesome work! 👊

  189. So, I don’t workout and have a desk job that has almost no movement. I’m not looking to build muscle right now though, I just want to cut fat first. I’m currently 5’6″ and 144 lbs and my BF is about 20-21%. Based on the formula above, it says I should be eating about 1,438 calories in order to lose weight, but every time I go above 1,200 I end up gaining. I eat healthy 90% of the time and I meal prep so I’m just at a loss for what I should do. Any tips?


  190. in his book he says there would be sampl photos of these methods. Can anyone help with that? I was thinking I would find photos of his results. Thanks

  191. Belly fats can be reduced more effectively and conveniently by fat freezing process. I applied this blue fat freeze system at home and reduced 3 inches around my waist in 2 months.

  192. Hello. HOW important is it to have 30 grams of protein within 30 min of waking up WHEN my schedule is: I am going back to the gym… awake at 415 am, out the door by 440am, at the gym 5 am. Finish gym around 6ish. Won’t protein before my workout affect my workout as my body is working to break it down and energy focus on digesting vs workout? I have been taking the protein within 15 min after my workout. Your insight REALLY appreciated. Thank you! HUGE fan!

  193. Hey Tim! I’d love if you would consider interviewing Susan Pierce Thompson and her work of Bright Line Eating on your podcast. I’d be really interested to hear the two of you discuss her area of brain science and weight loss.

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